Back of the Book — February 5, 2022

It's Friday afternoon, February 11, 2022, 13:20, and I have updated this Web page with Pickles of the North's piece about the truckers in Canada and a little about the planned MIT mission to look for life on Venus that we talked about on the air. I plan to add a little bit more to this Web page and finish it soon. The original top of this page follows the arrow. We covered the below topics and more on this program. The vandalize against the ancient petroglyph is particularly awful. I plan to update this Web page soon, 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 will be held on Wednesday February 9, 2022, at 7 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 32 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic. We had an LSB meeting this past Tuesday, February 1, it was in executive session. The report out is that The WBAI LSB discussed personnel issues of a confidential nature and forwarded a list of candidates to the General Manager.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, as both the LSB and as a Delegates Assembly. We easily elected WBAI's Directors to the Pacifica National Board at that meeting. Only enough people wanted to become Directors as we had slots for Directors, so they were all elected by acclamation. This meeting also featured a time keeper who couldn't keep time and people disrupting the meeting because they lost an election. In Public Comment we had anti-vaxxers whining that they weren't getting enough air time on WBAI for their life threatening disinformation.

The results are in and these are the 2022, WBAI Directors elected to the Pacifica National Board:

Staff - Shawn Rhodes
Listener - Jim Dingeman
Listener - James Sagurton
Listener - Sharonne Salaam

Before the January 12, 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, so we have the following schedule:

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
According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 389,947,603 on Friday, and global deaths reached 5,720,295. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 76,165,124 and the death toll in America was 899,895, so 18,940 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death rate is once again up; it's more than 10% higher than it was last week. The pandemic is not over. By the time this program airs on Saturday morning all of those figures we quoted will be higher of course. This was all mostly preventable.

Vandalized petrolglyph at the Big Bend National Park
Irreparably Damaged Ancient Petrolglyph
Photo credit: National Park Service

Bad people can cause really permanent damage. Vandals have irreparably damaged prehistoric rock art at Big Bend National Park in Texas. The artworks are thought to be between 4,000 and 8,500 years old and represented some of the oldest rock art in North America. The vandalize occurred on December 26, in the Indian Head area of the park according to the U.S. National Park Service.

Four names were scrawled on the art: Adrian, Ariel, Isaac and Norma, the year 2021, and the date 12-26-21 were also scratched into the rock. The petroglyph panel has been treated but the damage is still visible and the stone cannot be restored to its original state. Damaging park resources is against federal law and defacing rock art and ancient cultural sites violates the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

Tom VandenBerg, the chief of interpretation and visitor services at Big Bend National Park, said that the park had received pretty strong potential leads about who was responsible for the vandalize.

No trucks!
Parking Violation

Pickles here. I went on a bit about the disruptions taking place across Canada by some truckers and others wanting an end to all pandemic protocols. It's a real mix of a bunch of fringe groups- people who refuse to be vaccinated or wear masks, people who want to bring down the legally elected federal government, conspiracy nuts and people in or with ties to white supremacist groups. Sound familiar? They have been allowed to do pretty much whatever they like in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, from using 18 wheelers to shut down parts of the city to harassing citizens wearing masks to intimidating health care workers. Not to mention blaring their truck horns and setting off fireworks at all hours.

This kind of intimidation has been happening in other Canadian cities that have learned from the stupidly hands off response of Ottawa and not allowed these demonstrators to do whatever the hell they like. The fact that these creeps have been permitted to run amok at the seat of the federal government is pissing off the majority of Canadians, over 77% of whom have been doubly vaccinated, and the majority of truck drivers, essential workers whose rates of vaccination are even higher, and that's for truckers on both sides of the border. There have also been an unknown number of American citizens taking part in this rotten behavior. The fact that the authorities have managed to keep all these creeps from getting any closer to the parliament buildings is the only thing that has kept this from becoming a full blown insurrection like in the States. Members of the Conservative party, Canada's equivalent of the Republican party, have endorsed these creeps and even shown up to egg them on, not to mention that actual members of the US Republican party sitting in office, along with right wing media creeps from Fox, and number 45, have been expressing their support and encouragement. One a bright note, some anti-protestors have stopped the so called Freedom Caravan by laying down in front of the big rigs! And many have pointed out this largely white and male Caravan has been treated very differently than BLM protests and those of indigenous people. They have even been allowed to block part of the Canada US border out west. These are not peaceful protesters. This is a collection of fringe folk who protest with the threat of violence always present - and of course, they are probably spreading COVID too. The jerks.

The planet Venus from the Mariner 10 spacecraft.
Venus in 1974

A privately funded mission to the planet Venus is going to look for life in the thick clouds of that planet.

The Venus Life Finder Mission is led by some folks from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and it's not going to look at the surface of Venus for signs of life. The surface temperature on Venus is about 887° Fahrenheit and the pressure of the dense atmosphere is about 90 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level on Earth. That atmosphere is about 96.5% carbon dioxide and that's what's created the powerful greenhouse effect on the planet. High up in that dense atmosphere there are clouds, mostly made of sulphuric acid. There are no plain water clouds on Venus, the water seems to have all gotten combined with sulphur dioxide to make that sulphuric acid that the clouds are made of.

The MIT group is going to look in those thick clouds about 37 miles above the surface of the planet. The temperature there is a lot lower than on the surface.

It's been found that the atmosphere of Venus absorbs ultra-violet light. The Earth has a similar anomalous absorbance called the red edge. This comes about because light reflected from the Earth's surface tends to be absorbed strongly in the red part of the spectrum. This phenomenon is the result of photosynthesis on the surface of the Earth. So a similar absorption anomaly on Venus raises the possibility that something chemically similar is happening there. The MIT group is speculating that some form of life may be behind that phenomenon. The Venus Life Finder Mission is being planned to launch in May 2023.

trump_behind_bars_2022 (43K)
Lock Him Up!

Trump's own Supreme Court had ruled last month that he couldn't lock away presidential documents based on executive privilege, since he was no longer the executive. A lower court had previously ruled that, Presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president. The Supreme Court had made that ruling by an eight to one majority. The lone idiot who thought that executive privilege was forever was Clarence Thomas.

So the Congressional Committee has gotten the documents it had asked for, even the ones that Trump had torn up. And the revelations from those documents show why Trump fought to keep it all secret.

We'd already heard about Trump seriously considering signing a draft executive order to get variously the military, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to seize voting machines in battleground states in order to overturn the 2020, election. Now it's being reported that Trump verbally agreed to appoint conspiracy nutcase Sidney Powell as a special counsel to investigate possible foreign interference in the 2020, presidential election but really to to push his false claims of voter fraud in the 2020, election that he lost. This happened at a December 18, unscheduled meeting in the White House that reportedly included ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Patrick Byrne, a high-profile far right-wing activist.

Some of Trump's aides were against making Q-Anon crazy Powell a special counsel, and White House counsel Pat Cipollone warned Trump that he did not have the authority to appointment Powell nor to sign the order directing troops to seize voting machines. After the meeting, Cipollone pointed out that Powell would be unlikely to obtain a security clearance which would be necessary for a special counsel. Apparently Trump responded that he could overrule security officials and grant her one.

It's being reported that Powell actually behaved as if Trump had made the appointment at that unscheduled meeting. She even followed up with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to demand office space for what she thought would be her position as Special Counsel. Powell was later fired from Trump's so-called legal strike force, by Rudy Giuliani of all people.

Ms. Powell still faces a multi-billion dollar defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, the company she has accused of rigging their voting machines in a far-fetched plot linked to the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

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 © 2022, R. Paul Martin.