Back of the Book — July 27, 2019

It's Friday night, August 9, 2019, 20:30, and I've updated this Web page with more about the asteroid 2019 OK that we'd talked about on the air. Previously I'd added some stuff about Trump and the Supreme Court stealing money. More to come. The original top of this page follows the arrow. We're having to rush out to catch another shuttle bus. Since this is a pitching program it's really difficult to tell exactly what we'll be able to get to. We need to raise money, and we hope you'll help with that. But below are some of the several topics we have ready to go. I am hoping that I'll be in better shape this coming fortnight than I was for the last one and so will be able to update this and other Web pages here.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of some of the WBAI LSB meetings?

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.

The next WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to be held on August 14, 2019, at a location to be announced. These meetings are usually supposed to start at 7:00 PM.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at 7:00 PM at the First Unitarian Church, 119 Pierrepont St, corner of Monroe Place, in Brooklyn, NY 11201, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

The LSB got some stuff done. The PNB had passed a motion alleviating the controversy involving standing committees and special committees. The LSB created some task forces or focus groups or whatever they want to call what in effect are ad-hoc or special committees.

At this meeting the LSB allowed for a Treasurer's Report. It didn't get disrupted this time. I put out a written Treasurer's Report 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. For some time I was unable to post archive blurbs, but I've found that after this program I was finally able to do so, but only for this morning's program. I still can't go back and plug in any archive blurbs for the programs that are missing from the archive. We'll see how this works out.

This is a link to the latest version of the official WBAI archive. The archiving software appears to have been at least partially fixed. To get to the archive of this program you can use the usual method: 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 only this Back of the Book program. I expect that after next Saturday they'll have the pre-recorded program that's alternating with us now showing up there too.

For programs before January 26, 2019, you'll have to click on the same drop-down menu as above, which says Display, and find Specify Date, it's the second choice from the top. You are then given a little pop-up calendar and you can choose the date of the program there. Then click GO and you'll see a list of programs that aired on that date. For instance, the previous program will be under January 12, 2019. You'll just need to scroll to the 5 AM to 6 AM slot to get to us. For those previous programs you can get the audio, but nothing else, since I can't post anything to those pages anymore. Yeah, it looks like they'll have the alternating program's name prominently there, but if you have the right date it'll be our program. Good luck.

Since the General Manager has banned Sidney Smith from WBAI he's not alternating with us on the air. At this time there's a regular, pre-recorded, program in the alternate week's time slot.

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.


The WBAI Summer 2019, 'thon is happening right now. Management has moved programs around based on their evidence of having listeners, which is accomplished in the WBAI Managerial mind by how much the programs raise during these on-air fund raisers and by the Nielsen ratings, which the station is now getting after years of not getting any ratings at all. I hope we raise some money for the station this time.

So for this WBAI Summer '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 phone pledge needs to come in while we're on the air for it to count, otherwise use the on-line method below.

If you want to pledge to the program via the Web 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.

The meteor crater in Arizona.
The Barringer Crater

We talked about a space rock that just missed us last week. Asteroid 2019 OK came whipping by a mere 45,000 miles from the Earth on the morning of July 25, at 01:22 (UTC). It came past the Earth at a speed just short of 55,000 mph.

Now, 45,000 miles away is not close by human standards, but it's quite close when you consider that the Moon is on average about 239,000 miles away. And Asteroid 2019 OK could have covered that 45,000 mile distance in about 49 minutes if it had been on a collision course.

One really important factor here is that 2019 OK was not even noticed until a few days before its closest approach. It was first noticed by the SONEAR Observatory in Brazil, and later tracked by other observatories, including one in Hawaii. If 2019 OK had been on a collision course with the Earth there would only have been those few days in which to prepare for the impact. Whether or not anything could have been done in so short a time to deflect the asteroid is one of those debates that are raging these days.

Because it was under observation for such a short period of time there's not a lot that's known about 2019 OK. The estimate is that it's between 187 and 426 feet across. The illustration on this page is of the Barringer Crater in Arizona that resulted from a small asteroid that hit the Earth about 50,000 years ago. That asteroid, which became a meteorite once it hit, was about 160 feet across. Definitely smaller than 2019 OK. The Barringer Crater is about 3,900 feet in diameter and about 560 feet deep.

If asteroid 2019 OK had hit the Earth it could have had a devastating effect whether it hit on land or at sea. We were lucky this time.

If we can I want to start talking about the fight against the movie Cruising 40 years ago. This is a topic that may get discussed over the course of a number of programs.

We may be able to get to some news about early modern humans who were not only really early but who had gotten into Europe long before anyone thought they had.

Donnie Bonespur Trump's Dream

The day before we went on the air Donnie Bonespur Trump's stacked Supreme Court decided that the Constitution wasn't something they were interested in observing or preserving. So they allowed him to steal money allocated by Congress for the Pentagon so that he could use it to build a portion of his stupid border wall, which will not really do anything about border security.

Congress had passed a budget, which Trump then signed into law, which only authorized about $1.4 billion for border fencing construction, but then Trump declared his phony emergency.

This ruling will let the Trump administration spend about $2.5 billion of the Pentagon's money until the matter is ultimately settled by the courts. Trump said in May that he's even looking to spend an additional $8 billion on that wall.

There's supposed to be a separation of powers in the United States of America, and that safeguard has been the subject of Supreme Court decisions in the past. The Supreme Court just about always rules that the separation of powers is something important and that one branch of the government can't just take over. Trump declared that there was a national emergency on the border in February so that he could steal money that Congress had appropriated for Pentagon building projects and use that money for his wall even though Congress had explicitly barred him from doing so. You can't get a clearer violation of the separation of powers than that. It didn't matter to the Republican appointees on the Supreme Court though.

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.

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 February 2019, it had 696 subscribers coast to coast, but postings on it are very infrequent now, except for spillover from other mailing lists.

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 © 2019, R. Paul Martin.