Back of the Book — September 11, 2021

It's Monday morning, September 13, 2021, 03:07, and this Web page is finished. I have updated this Web page with a bit more of the things we talked about regarding the people who are dead from or ill with COVID-19 and who have either been hearty denouncers of those trying to stanch the progress of the disease or who have been procrastinating as they do their research on it before getting vaccinated. It's tragic that the infection and death rates are soaring as they are. We're pretty much back in the worst days of the pandemic in America. I've also added some graphics to this page. The original top of this page follows the arrow. This program is airing 20 years after the 9/11 attacks, which happened nearby to WBAI's then studios at the time. We talked about that, and we talked about the COVID-19 pandemic and its accelerating rate of spreading and its mounting death rate. Currently COVID-19 is killing as many people in America every two days as died in the 9/11 attacks.

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, October 18, 2021, it will probably be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 27 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

The LSB meeting was sort of the usual, WBAI Management couldn't do their reports in the allotted format and they were allowed to go back and forth. This may have lowered the number of questions they were asked.

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?

The Twin Towers in the Spring/Summer of 2000.
Twin Towers in the Spring/Summer of 2000

This program is airing on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the United States by the violent religious fanatics of Al Quaeda. We've commemorated this date for two decades. Owing to the insane politics that were making a mess of WBAI in 2001, as opposed to the insane politics that were making a mess of WBAI before and after 2001, we were kept off the air for what should have been our first program after what become known as the 9/11 attacks. We did produce a Web page for the non-program. I think that if you want to know what I was doing on September 11, 2001, that non-program Web page is a good place to look. It was written in the literal aftermath of the tragic event. Since we were on a bi-weekly schedule at that time our next opportunity to get on the air came two weeks after that.

World Trade Center Ablaze 9/11/01
Twin Towers Ablaze on 9/11
photo by Michael Foran (license cc by-sa 3.0)

On this program 20 years after the attacks of 9/11 we again talked about where we were when we heard about or saw the planes crashing into the doomed Twin Towers. We talked a little bit about our Saddle Pal Max Schmid who took a microphone and a SONY mini-disc recorder out into the street, the World Trade Center was a very short walk away from 120 Wall St. where WBAI was headquartered at that time, and he recorded actuality. While he was out there recording what was going on the South Tower collapsed. Max was engulfed in the huge cloud of smoke and debris, which has been shown on any number of videos of that day. When Max got back to WBAI he was covered in the toxic dust that would end up killing so many people in the aftermath of the attacks. Some of Max's recording got on the air. Unfortunately the historic recording on the mini-disc was erased or overwritten or in some way destroyed by mishandling in the News Room.

Since we pre-record these programs we don't know if anything will be done differently for the 9/11 commemoration in 2021. I suppose that if anything is done differently we'll talk about it on the next program.

The events of 9/11 certainly did change the world. As I said on this program, if a science fiction writer of the 20th Century had written a story that included attacks with airliners that destroyed the tallest buildings in America, had seriously damaged the Pentagon and had come close to destroying the White house, followed by civil liberties restrictions in reaction to the attacks, a war in two countries that lasted 20 years and then included the election of a totally unqualified person as President of the United States, followed by a pandemic that was exacerbated by a mutating virus, well that science fiction writer would be told that there were too many unlikely things in his or her story, that no one would be able to believe so many strange things happening in the future over the course of 20 years. But here we are.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
Over 646,000 Dead in America

We talked about the pandemic and the increasing rate of hospitalizations and deaths in America and around the world from COVID-19. We talked about President Biden's speech the day before we recorded this program where he addressed the anti-vaccination crowd, saying, We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. We talked about the following sad stories, which certainly help to point up the dangers to which people who will not get vaccinated expose themselves, and others.

Megan Alexandra Blankenbiller of Florida shared a TikTok video from her hospital bed on August 15, in hopes of encouraging others to get vaccinated. I did not get vaccinated, Blankenbiller said in her last TikTok video I am not anti-vax, I was just trying to do my research. I was scared and wanted me and my family to all do it at the same time and, as I'm sure you all know, it's hard to get everyone to agree on something if people feel differently. Her TikTok account has more than 16,000 followers. I do think it was a mistake, she said of not getting vaccinated, I shouldn't have waited. If you are even 70% sure that you want the vaccine, go get it. Don't wait. Go get it, because hopefully if you get it, then you won't end up in the hospital like me. Ms. Blankenbiller died of COVID-19 on August 24. This doing my research nonsense is popping up more and more lately. What research are these people doing? Are they just reading the various right-wing and anti-vaxxer kooks on-line? I'm sure that Ms. Blankenbiller didn't have a degree in microbiology or an M.D. or any training that would help her to delve all that deeply into the issue. It would have been better for her, and her family, if she had done some fast research that said that over 4½ million people have died around the world in the last 18 months or so from COVID-19 and that getting vaccinated has a good shot at keeping you from dying of this disease. Not much more research than that needs to be done.

A syringe

North Carolina's department of Health and Human Services has issued a statement that, Clusters among school sports teams accounted for 45% of all clusters in North Carolina middle and high schools, despite most school sports activities not beginning until August as schools began the fall semester. No one should be surprised at this. Athletes breathe hard when they're working out, and their strong lungs can project the SARS-CoV-2 virus for quite a distance. And we have seen numbers of videos of spectators, often high school and college age, numbering 66,000 and 80,000 and over 100,000 individuals in sports stadiums jumping up and down in unison and shouting. No masks were required and no proof of vaccination was required to attend these events. The spectators were crammed in together not unlike rush hour on the New York City subways. Anyone in that crowd who has the virus is certain to have a chance to spread it to a hundred of more nearby people over the course of whatever game they're all watching together.

In Volusia County, Florida Councilman Fred Lowry, 66, was hospitalized with a case of COVID-19. He had reportedly been treated with monoclonal antibodies days earlier. Preaching at the Deltona Lakes Baptist Church in late May, Lowry told followers the COVID-19 pandemic was a hoax saying, We did not have a pandemic, folks. We were lied to. Lowry referred to the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, Dr. Anthony Fauci, as Dr. Falsey, and allegedly referred to him as a liar and a sexual deviant. Apparently the right-wing jerks who have been parroting each other in calling Dr. Fauci a sexual deviant have been saying that because of his work around HIV. That's quite stupid of them, and also very revealing of a certain type of mentality. I guess that if he recovers, after a lot of serious treatment in a hospital, he'll say that his god has delivered him. Which I supposed will mean that the devil is what's causing the illness. Yeah, they can be that stupid. In his preaching Lowry has also reportedly spread disinformation about the climate crisis and to make it all fit together he's pushed the absurd QAnon theory that powerful liberals drink the blood of babies. Really, what an idiot.

In Jefferson County, Colorado the public health officials pulled their three mobile vaccination units off the streets over Labor Day weekend following abuse by rabid anti-vaxxers who taunted and harassed medical workers, one anti-vaxxer destroyed signs the clinic had erected around a vaccine tent. Also cars drove by with anti-vaxxers in them yelling obscenities and throwing garbage at health care workers. Another anti-vaxxer tossed an unidentified liquid at a nurse who was stationed at one of the mobile units in front of a Jefferson County restaurant. The Jefferson County Public Health Executive Director, Dawn Comstock said, I will not put the hardworking public health staff in harm's way. Unfortunately it's not safe anymore.

A medical facemask

Closer to home, Manhattan court security Lieutenant Stephen Shyti, 63 was responsible for enforcing the wearing of masks and other health and safety measures at the Manhattan Criminal Court Building. He was described as outspoken in his opposition to taking the vaccine and he did not wear a mask at work. He died around 5:45 PM Tuesday of COVID-19. Really, how the hell does a guy like that get put in charge of making sure that people wear masks in the courthouse and other health measures get that job? What moron was his superior in this? Who appointed the guy who wouldn't wear a mask to be in charge of making sure everyone wore a mask?

Back in Florida At least 13 school district employees in Miami-Dade County have died from COVID-19 in the past three weeks.

Just before we began to record this program I saw that an appeals court in Florida has reinstated Governor DeSantis' ban on mask mandates. Will this go to the Supreme Court? If it does will the Supreme Court come down on the side of those who are intent on spreading disease for political gain?

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.

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

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2021, R. Paul Martin.