Back of the Book — September 4, 2021

This was our 35th anniversary program. We talked a little bit about the program itself and it's history. We also talked about the pandemic and that atrocious Texas anti-abortion law. I will update this Web page in the near future, so check back for the updates.

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? Well, I do, and I've recently updated some of that.

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, September 8, 2021, it will probably be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 26 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.

The LSB meeting was sort of the usual.

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. As of November 2020, Back of the Book airs weekly.

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?

SARS-CoV-2 virus
Over 4½ Million Dead

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site Covid-19 cases in the whole world reached 219,473,393 on Friday, and global deaths reached 4,547,932. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 39,640,020 and the death toll in America was 644,468, so 10,119 people have died of Covid-19 in America since our last program one week ago. The death rate in America is up again and this has become a pattern over the past couple of months. We're back in the bad old days. Areas with a lot of unvaccinated people are supplying the victims of most of the deaths. Intensive Care Unit beds in those areas are somewhere between hard and impossible to find. By the time this program airs on Saturday morning all of those figures we quoted will be higher of course. I'll say again, this was all mostly preventable.

We've had more instances of people denouncing the vaccines and mask wearing and then dying of Covid-19 this past week. Robert David Steele went on right-wing radio programs calling COVID-19 a hoax. I will not take the vaccination, though I did test positive for whatever they're calling COVID today, he wrote in his blog on August 17. He then said, The bottom line is that my lungs are not functioning. The good news is that I will survive with a few days off. Maybe he thought he could live with lungs that didn't function. In fact Robert David Steele died from COVID-19. Also, three of the right-wing radio hosts who have been anti-vaccination, including one fool named Marc Bernier, who actually called himself Mr. Anti-Vax, have died in a little over a week. Texas anti-mask Freedom Defender Caleb Wallace died at 30 of COVID-19 last Saturday. He was the leader of a group of self-described Freedom Defenders who were against mask restrictions.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is setting about trying to sicken and kill the children of his state. He's outlawed mask mandates in the state. With school just starting in the state some school districts have taken the risk of defying his executive order and are mandating that all teachers, Staff and students at their schools weak masks. DeSantis has retaliated by withholding the salaries of those involved in making that decision. There are rumors that DeSantis wants to run for the Republican nomination for President in 2024, if his idol Donnie Bonespur Trump declines the nomination. I guess he'll tout his death toll in the state, and especially the number of school age children who have been sickened or died during his term as Governor. Meanwhile the Justice Department is looking into the legality of his executive order banning mask mandates. This character is going to leave some legacy.

It's Labor Day weekend. The CDC has advised people not to travel this weekend. I wonder how that's going to work? Will we see yet another surge two weeks from now?

Texas with hanger
Texas Becomes America's Back-Alley

We talked about the new Texas attack on women's reproductive rights. The Texas legislature passed their infamous Senate Bill 8 (SB8) this past week. The wording of this law is devious. It bans a woman from getting an abortion more than six weeks after her pregnancy begins. Most women don't even know they're pregnant at the six week mark. This law also empowers anyone in the United States to file a lawsuit against anyone in Texas whom they claim aids or abets the provision of an abortion rather than having authorities enforce the ban. And those people can get $10,000 out of the lawsuit. This means that if someone drives a woman to an abortion clinic they can be sued under this law. I've read that it's possible that even donors to nonprofit groups that advocate for abortion rights or assist women in paying for the procedure could also be sued under this law. I guess it remains to be seen if someone who advocates for women being allowed to get an abortion or donors to organizations can really be successfully sued. It sounds like this would violate the First Amendment, but maybe the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court will vote down the First Amendment, too. There are a number of very bad aspects to this stupid, biased law.

The Supreme Court was petitioned to issue a temporary injunction preventing the law from being enforced. The Justices didn't do anything for a full day after this emergency relief was sought. And then, late Wednesday night August 1, they voted 5 to 4 to not bother, saying that they were making the ruling based on a technical issue.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's three sane members Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer in dissent on that vote. Right-wing Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch constituted the majority. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in the written dissent, described the Texas law as a Breathtaking act of defiance of Supreme Court precedent and of women's rights. She wrote, The Court's order is stunning. Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand. President Biden said in a statement that Texas' new abortion ban Blatantly violates the constitutional right established by Roe v. Wade.

I'm seeing speculation that other states may try to pass the same laws. I am also seeing speculation that in such a case states that are not dominated by the right-wing might pass similar laws that will go after things that the right-wing likes. Is this how the 21st Century American Civil War starts?

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.

We like to stay interactive with our listeners. Here are the various options for you to get in touch with us.

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