Back of the Book — November 14, 2020

It's Friday, November 20, 2020 09:42, and thus Web page is finished. I've updated the saga of this program not airing at the right time, but airing later on. I've put my own archive up here, and I've put in a link to the official WBAI archive of this program under it. I've also put in the text of what I read on the air about going weekly. The original top of this page follows the arrow. . With this program we go weekly. We covered the below topics and a bit more on this program. I want to get this Web page posted before the program hits the air, so I have to get it posted right now. I'll update this Web page soon.

Back of the Book did not air on WBAI on the morning of November 14, 2020. It is not yet perfectly known why it was not aired, although there are some hunches about why. The file had been posted and it should have aired, but somewhere along the way incompetence seems to have sabotaged the airing of this radio program. It is being aired tonight (November 14, 2020) at 8:00 PM on WBAI. Since the archive of the program will not be in the usual place we're posting it to this Web site. This version of the pre-recorded program strips out almost all of the tiny bit of music that was played during the program. Yeah, we've got to keep it legal. We hope you enjoy the program. And you can read this Web page while you listen.

Here's a link to the archive of the program that had aired at 8:00 PM. It's the official archive as you'd have gotten if the program had aired in its usual 5:00 AM time slot.

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 Wednesday, December 9, 2020, it will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the nine previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

The meeting was pretty much the usual stuff. Some people seem to be looking to reinvent the wheel. I wonder kind of polygon they'll come up with?

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.

Map of the 2020 USA presidential election.
Here's How it Worked Out

That moron Donnie Bonespur Trump lost the election. The Biden/Harris ticket got 77,971,073 votes and the Trump/Pence ticket got 72,653,384 and most importantly the Biden/Harris ticket is now projected to end up with 306 Electoral College votes to the Trump/Pence total of 232 Electoral college votes, a decisive victory in the Electoral college.

Trump was making noises for months about how unfair the election was to him because people were voting by mail before election day, even though Trump himself has voted by mail for years. So far almost every legal challenge he's made to the election results has been thrown out of court, and the one he won didn't really affect the vote. Part of his problem is that he is saying that the Democrats rigged the election so that Biden and Harris would win, but if they did that then they'd have rigged it so that the Republicans would have lost the Senate and wouldn't have made gains in the House. Trump and his minions have been unable to bring up any evidence of widespread election rigging. One Republican operative was claiming fraud because he saw many military votes going to Biden/Harris when active duty military people usually vote conservative. Well, maybe Trump mocking the American war dead and calling them losers and suckers had some effect on that, eh?

The actually dangerous thing that Trump may be trying is to affect the Electoral College vote by infiltrating what are called faithless electors. These are people who are pledged to vote for one candidate but who vote for another. There is talk of having some states with majority Republican legislatures vote in nothing but Trump supporters who would then vote for Trump when they are supposed to vote for Biden. Now there's a Supreme Court ruling from this past July that would indicate that those faithless electors could be replaced, but that could still result in a big Constitutional crisis.

There have been Faithless Electors in the past. The most organized set of them occurred after the 1836, Presidential Election. In that election the entire electoral delegation from Virginia refused to vote for the winning candidate for Vice President, Richard M. Johnson, because Johnson treated his lover, who was also his slave, as a regular mistress, unlike other slave owners of the Old South. Johnson even acknowledged the two children he had fathered with his slave/mistress as his own and gave them his name. So Johnson failed to get elected in the Electoral College, which threw the election for Vice President into the Senate. Luckily for Johnson the Senate voted along party lines and he won the Vice Presidency anyway.

Trying to screw up the Electoral college vote would be quite the drastic maneuver, and Trump and his hench-creeps probably will not really go for it.

Last Sunday, the day after media outlets finally called the election for Biden/Harris, Tim Murtaugh Trump campaign director of communications, tweeted an image that purported to be taken at campaign headquarters in Virginia of multiple front pages from the Washington Times with the headline President Gore, a reference to the contested presidential election of the year 2000.

Greeting staff at @TeamTrump HQ this morning, a reminder that the media doesn't select the President, Murtaugh wrote, referencing media outlets having declared Biden the winner of the election the day before.

Problem was, the front page declaring that Al Gore had won the election in the year 2000 was fake. The Washington Times informed Trump campaign director of communications Murtaugh that the front page was not real.

Grendel from-Stories of Beowulf-1908

Those photos have been doctored. The Washington Times never ran a President Gore headline," the newspaper replied to Murtaugh on Twitter. We also wish to add that Mr. Murtaugh has been officially notified via E-mail about this error. Murtaugh deleted his Tweet. What a pack of liars!

The silliness of the Four Seasons Landscaping photo-op was quite something. Trump's main lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was reportedly going to hold a high level press conference to publicize one of Trump's ultimately useless and frivolous lawsuits that attempted to overturn the election Trump has just lost. It was publicized as being at the Four Seasons. It was assumed, apparently even by Trump himself, that the press conference would be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Instead Giuliani ended up posing with other Trump Campaign officials in front of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping company. Giuliani and the others looked absolutely comical standing in a small parking lot in front of a garage door that they had decorated with Trump/Pence campaign posters. But there was no disguising the fact that they were holding their supposedly serious and high level press conferences in front of a garage. Quite the bit of levity while we all stressed out after having waited for clarification of the election results, which had some the day before.

Regarding the stress we were all feeling in the days leading up to and after the election Pickles of the North read an excerpt from the Old English epic poem Beowulf. Yeah, Grendel in the White House. In fact Grendel's body count was nothing compared to that of Trump.

Libertarian_Party_Porcupine_(USA) (6K)
Libertarian Party Symbol

As usual, we reminded everyone that we must all remember that the behavior of the Trump Administration is not normal.

As a footnote to this election it's worthy of note that a third party candidate may have made a big difference in who won. Clemson University psychology lecturer Jo Jorgensen ran on the Libertarian Party ticket and she may have had an influence on this Presidential election. I only have numbers from a week ago, but they show that the Libertarian candidate got more than 76,000 votes in Pennsylvania, about 61,000 votes in Georgia and nearly 45,000 votes in Arizona. All told she got 1,783,519 votes. In time we may know if she made a difference.

Our big announcement for this program was that
starting today Back of the Book goes weekly!

This program will air weekly, starting today. Back of the Book has been on the air for more than 34 years. In that time we've been on biweekly, except when we've been preempted, sometimes preempted a lot. So this will be a big change for us, and for our listeners, I think.

This should make it easier for those who listen to this radio program regularly to find us. It's a lot easier to remember five o'clock on a Saturday morning than five o'clock on alternate Saturday mornings. We've had listeners telling us that for all 34 years we've been on the air in both of the time slots this program has occupied.

It will be a challenge. Not that there's not enough stuff to talk about, but it will be a challenge to me especially with regard to adapting from a biweekly routine to a weekly routine. I think the following excerpt adapted for radio from the short story The Dead from James Joyce's book Dubliners kind of gets close to my concerns. The scenario for the excerpt is this: people are waiting around for cabs after a party and one guy tells the following story. With regard to going weekly after so many years of the program airing biweekly I wonder if I'm the horse named Johnny in this story, The old gentleman had a horse by the name of Johnny. And Johnny used to work in the old gentleman's mill, walking round and round in order to drive the mill. That was all very well; but now comes the tragic part about Johnny. One fine day the old gentleman thought he'd like to drive out with the quality to a military review in the park.

So the old gentleman harnessed Johnny and put on his very best tall hat and his very best stock collar and drove out in grand style from his ancestral mansion somewhere near Back Lane, I think.

Out from the mansion of his forefathers he drove with Johnny. And everything went on beautifully until Johnny came in sight of King Billy's statue: and whether he fell in love with the horse King Billy sits on or whether he thought he was back again in the mill, anyhow he began to walk round the statue.

Round and round he went, and the old gentleman, who was a very pompous old gentleman, was highly indignant. Go on, sir! What do you mean, sir? Johnny! Johnny! Most extraordinary conduct! Can't understand the horse!

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

WBAI related links

A WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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