Back of the Book — August 22, 2020


It's Tuesday morning, September 1, 2020, 04:25, and this Web page is finished. I've updated it by adding a graphic, tweaking a couple of other graphics and I've put up Pickles of the North's piece about the red-tailed hawks. The original top of this page follows the arrow. All right, puff puff here's the Web page for this radio program. I have tried to put up as much as I can of what we did. We certainly did the below topics.

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 on this Web site. 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 September 9, 2020, it will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the six previous meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, August 12, 2019.

The technical difficulties were not as bad this time on a certain service that has privacy and security problems. Before the meeting I had 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, then I could, and then I couldn't again. You can take a look at it and see if I've been able to post anything on it lately. There are still some limitations, but I am assured that I can plug in the archive blurbs that were lost in the latest upgrade.

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. Management has fixed some problems that we'd been having with the archives.

For programs before March 23, 2019, we're all out of luck. The changes that took place once WBAI Management took control of the WBAI archives seems to have wiped out all access to anything before that date in March. 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 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 some 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. There is another 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?

More to come.

novel coronavirus 2019
Yeah, It's still stalking Us All

We talked about the pandemic. The Covid-19 cases are starting to show up from that gathering of 250,000 people in tiny Sturgis, South Dakota earlier this month. I guess it was an IQ test. If you went there you did not trend toward the high end of the IQ scale.

Republican dark money is pushing all sorts of stupid and destructive disinformation about the pandemic. They paraded a small group of people calling itself America's Frontline Doctors before the press. And those people, one of whom talks a lot about diseases being caused by people having sex with demons in their dreams, were pushing Hydroxychloriquine as a cure for Covid-19, which has been shown not to work.

Mark Grennon and his son Joseph Grennon were arrested during a raid in Santa Marta, Colombia earlier this month on a federal warrant that charges they illegally sold a chemical similar to bleach as a miracle cure for Covid-19, Alzheimer's Disease, autism, cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS among other diseases. The Columbians got them because they were shipping their poisonous Miracle Mineral Solution all over Columbia, after having reportedly sold tens of thousands of bottles of the stuff in the United States. Mark Grennon claims to be the archbishop of a church he made up, and he was also claiming credit for getting Trump to say in April that injecting bleach into people's lungs would cure Covid-19.

And this past fortnight that guy who hawks his patented pillows on TV all the time was interviewed by Anderson Cooper. The pillow pusher's been promoting an herbal supplement made from a plant called oleander, which is poisonous to humans. He claims that it cures Covid-19. This guy is also the campaign chair for Trump's reelection campaign in Minnesota, and he is making noises about running for governor of Minnesota. He's also gotten Trump interested in his poisonous concoction. Trump should take some, after all, he said he was on Hycroxychloriquine for a while. So in the interview Anderson Cooper called him a shady snake-oil salesman and accused him of being willing to sell anything. Well, calling snake-oil snake-oil is a good thing.

Russia says it has a COVID-19 vaccine. Vladimir Putin is pushing it. Meanwhile Russian opposition leader, and political enemy of Putin, Alexei Navalny is in a coma after apparently being poisoned by someone putting the poison in some tea that he drank. Shades of another Putin opponent Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 about 14 years ago. Yeah, I think I'll wait for the next vaccine.

Mr. ZIP all bound up
Mr. ZIP Bound By the Postmaster General

The United States Postal Service is still being sabotaged by this Louis DeJoy guy who is Postmaster General. He has investments in the range of tens of millions of dollars in delivery companies that compete with the USPS. This is not just a conflict of interest.

It's also not just about this DeJoy character lining his pockets by destroying the postal service, which is listed in the Constitution as some thing the United States must do. He's also there compromising the postal service in an effort to help Trump win reelection. It's so obvious. If Biden wins the election in November I hope that Louis DeJoy is among those who are charged with crimes and I hope he's given a lengthy prison sentence.

louis_dejoy (63K)
Louis DeJoy - Villain

The president of the American Postal Workers Union chapter in the Cincinnati region, Jim Sizemore said, It seems like they're just trying to turn customers away from the post office, he said his offices are behind on deliveries because of new rules specifying when mail can go out.

This DeJoy character has pushed cost-cutting measures to eliminate overtime pay and hold mail until the next day if postal distribution centers are running late. He's also had sorting machines removed from some Post Office facilities.

Eighty-four House members, including four Republicans, signed a letter that said it is, Vital that the Postal Service does not reduce mail delivery hours, which could harm rural communities, seniors, small businesses and millions of Americans who rely on the mail for critical letters and packages.

DeJoy claims that the USPS will be able to handle the extra load of mail-in ballots for the election, but he also said, that if Election Boards, We cannot correct the errors of the Election Boards if they fail to deploy processes that take our normal processing and delivery standards into account.

He told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he would reverse all of this, but in fact he hasn't and it looks like he isn't going to.

I'm still missing magazines, and my meds from the V.A. did finally arrive, but they were shipped on July 15, 2020, and didn't arrive until August 18, 2020. They spent a month and three days in transit! And they were shipped from the V.A. Hospital in Brooklyn!

I want to vote by mail this time. The Board of elections said that my application for an absentee ballot for the primary elections in June was not received. I am really thinking that I may just risk my life and go vote in person In November, if I can't get an acknowledgment of the Board of elections getting my ballot.

Indicted Steve Bannon
Trumpoid Steve Bannon

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who was behind a White House travel ban on foreigners and who got Trump to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change accords was charged with fraud in a fundraising scheme. Bannon and his co-conspirators bilked hundreds of thousands of donors out of money to build that Mexican border wall touted by Trump on the campaign trail in 2016. They raised more than $25 million for the We Build the Wall fund, according to charges contained in an indictment unsealed Thursday in Manhattan Federal Court. Some money went to build a small piece of wall on the U.S./Mexican border but millions went into the pockets of the people pulling the scam. Ironically, it was inspectors from the United States Postal Service who arrested Bannon. This really does show that we have a gang of thieves operating out of the White House.

Orion with Betelgeuse circled in red.
Betelgeuse is Circled in Red

On a previous program we talked about speculation by some astronomers that the bright star Betelgeuse was maybe about to blow up as a type 2 supernova. This was because the red giant star had suddenly become fainter for several months during late 2019, and early 2020. Betelgeuse is about 725 light years away from the Earth, so if it were to go supernova it wouldn't harm us, but it would make for quite a show in the sky. Betelgeuse is the shoulder in the constellation Orion the hunter. It's the 10th brightest star in the night sky. If it were to go supernova it would be the brightest star in the sky, for a while.

Well, scientists have come up with a new idea about the dimming of Betelgeuse. Scientists with the Hubble Space Telescope were observing the star when it was dimming, and the new study revealed that Betelgeuse had actually expelled an immense amount of hot material from its surface. As that expelled star stuff traveled millions of miles from the star, and if Betelgeuse replaced the Sun its surface would reach Jupiter, that ejected material cooled and darkened, blocking Betelgeuse from Earth's view and that's why it appeared dimmer.

Well, it looks like we'll have Betelgeuse to look at for at least some more years.

A red-tailed hawk
A Red-Tailed Hawk

Pickles of the North here. On today's program I talked about how during the early months of the lock down, bird songs filled the air, not having any competing sounds made by humans to mask them.

Some of the birds we saw and heard were the following - robins, northern cardinals, northern mockingbirds, all kinds of sparrows, mourning doves, starlings, herring gulls, fish crows, and in the Summer, the chimney swifts returning from South America to their ancestral, dormant chimney home in Brooklyn.

And after several lock down weeks, the red tailed hawks appeared.

Before the lock down, we would only see them high up wheeling in the sky - the predator we would see up close was a kestrel, also a hawk but it's much smaller than the red tail. A red tail hawk started sitting on top of the fire escape on the building across the way early in the morning. Then pairs of red-tailed hawks started hunting very low in pairs right over us. And that's when all the singing stopped, like someone flipping a switch.

Now a juvenile male has been flying and crying all Summer long. Its cry is high pitched and I find it very nerve wracking, especially during the heat waves. It goes on for hours and hours! But it also hunts squirrels, which I am okay with ever since we were terrorized by squirrels in our apartment on two different occasions. This young hawk dive bombed a squirrel - I never saw a rodent move so fast! He missed it, but a few days later the juvenile was sitting up on another building's chimney eating something big - I like to think it was that squirrel!

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 that no longer exists was the WBAI specific Goodlight Web based message board. It was sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as the bleepin' blue board, owing to the blue background that was used on its Web pages. This one had many people posting anonymously and there was also an ancillary WBAI people board that was just totally out of hand.

In June 2012, I ended up having to salvage the bleepin' blue board, and so I was the moderator on it for its last seven years, until it got too expensive.

Sometimes we used to 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 had become very infrequent. During the WBAI Coup of 2019, traffic picked up on that board again, for a while.

Back in the day it sometimes also got a bit nasty. All sorts of things used to happen on that 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.

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


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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2020, R. Paul Martin.