Back of the Book — January 23, 2021

Quite a week! Trump is finally gone. Pandemic deaths shoot through a large, round figure in America. Pardons galore. An inauguration that simply works as it should w/ little to no drama. A butterfly species may be endangered, and more. I'm hoping to update this Web page pretty soon.

You can now listen to this program on the official WBAI Archive.

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, February 10, 2021, it will probably be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 10 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

We held elections for Director, which will actually be held on-line. The election for Vice-Chair went on, virtually, later last month and Dee Dee Halleck is the new Vice-Chair of the WBAI LSB. The LSB meeting had an executive session attached to it. I maintained during the meeting and after it that this was a violation of the rules laid down in the Communications Act. Nothing that was actually confidential was discussed. It'll be interesting to see what the legally required report out says. That's required to be posted by January 27.

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?

He's gone! Trump is actually gone! There an actual adult in the White House again! Trump's homophobic Vice-President is gone too, replaced by a woman of Black and South Asian ancestry. Change has happened!

We talked about Trump and his going. We talked about them going through the whole inauguration ritual without disruption. They had a guy wiping everything down between speakers. Biden gave no American Carnage speech, although he certainly could have, he just said the stuff he wants to do. We did get to see Bill Clinton catching a short nap during it all, and Bernie Sanders' fashion statement got a lot of attention. That's a lot better than the stuff we could expect from Trump.

There was a lot of speculation about what Trump was going to do with regard to pardons before he left office. At one o'clock on Wednesday morning, with only about 11 hours left in his presidency, Trump issued 143 pardons/commutations. The one that's getting the most attention is the pardon for Steve Bannon. Who has not even gone to trial yet. Bannon's three co-defendants did not get pardons. Well, they weren't pals of Trump. Also, they probably don't have any dirt that they can spill about Trump.

Two rappers with gun charges were pardoned. I guess Trump is going to look into going into rap music in the future.

I wondered if we'll see Donnie Bonespur Trump as a professional wrestler some time in the future. Given how bizarre things have been with Trump over the years it's not entirely impossible that he might stoop that low. He'd get paid a lot of money and he's get adulation from crowds. Will he wear a mask when he wrestles?

Also pardoned was Elliott Broidy, a former Republican National Committee Finance chairman, who was indicted in October on charges that he illegally lobbied the Trump administration to drop a major U.S. fraud case against a wealthy Malaysian businessman. Broidy pleaded guilty late last year, but Trump's pardon means that he's free and unconvicted anymore.

A pal of Jared Kushner who was charged with cyberstalking his ex-wife got a pardon. Michael Flynn got one too. Various other criminals were pardoned or had their sentences commuted. We haven't gone over the entire list, maybe there are a couple of people in there who could be properly pardoned or have their sentences commuted, but the bulk of it was cronies and real crooks.

One crook who did not get pardoned, and this was a bit of a surprise, was Trump himself. Also, none of his family members got pardoned. That may come back t bite them. Oh, I hope it comes back to bite them all. Now the probes can begin into who got paid how much and by whom to get those pardons doled out.

A Monarch Butterfly

On the last program Pickles of the North read a light piece about Freddy the Monarch Butterfly. On this program I talked about the news from the non-profit organization the Xerces Society which had recorded fewer than 2,000 Monarch Butterflies along the California coast. A couple of years ago there were tens of thousands of them, but in the '80s there were millions of them! Scientists note that the Monarch Butterfly population in the eastern United States has declined by about 80% since the mid-1990s. Clearly this beautiful, big butterfly species is in danger of extinction in North America. We talked about the role that climate change may be playing in their numbers getting so drastically low.

As Donnie Bonespur Trump headed out of the White House we hit 400,000 dead from Covid-19 in America.

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.

There used to be a number of mailing lists related to Pacifica and WBAI. Unfortunately, they were all located on Yahoo! Groups. When Yahoo! Groups was totally shut down in December 2020, all of those mailing lists ceased to exist. One year earlier their file sections and archives of E-mails, had been excised leaving only the ability to send E-mails back and forth among the members. Now it's all gone. Older Back of the Book program Web pages tell a little more about those lists.

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