Back of the Book — February 26, 2022

This was our 80th pandemic episode of the program, pre-recorded at home. We covered the below topics. I had been hoping that I'd get the entire Web page done in one session, but I'm falling asleep here, so I'll have to try to update this Web page later. 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 March 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 33 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic. We had an LSB meeting on 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, February 9, 2022, as both the LSB and as a Delegates Assembly. We elected WBAI's members to some of the Pacifica National Board committees at that meeting. LSB members are currently engaged in voting for the contested seats.

Before the February 9, 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?

Putin & Hitler as one.
Bad People Doing Bad Things.

We'd been describing Putin's demands about Ukraine a couple of programs ago as a repeat of Hitler's actions around the Sudetenland in 1938, when he'd gotten France and Great Britain to support his seizure of the parts of Czechoslovakia where their frontier defenses were. And we pointed out what a big mistake that had been for Britain and France.

As it turned out Putin decided that since he couldn't bully the NATO members with a 1938, style set of demands he'd just pull a trick or two from Hitler's 1939, play book and simply invade Ukraine. And he did it with some of the same tricks that Hitler had used in 1939, when he wanted to invade Poland. In 1939, Hitler had told the German people that the Poles had rejected his generous peace offer. Hitler has said that Poland was about to attack Germany. So on August 31, 1939, SS men in Polish army uniforms had staged a mock attack on a German radio station near the border of Germany and Poland. The SS men did the shooting, and they brought drugged concentration camp inmates, also dressed in Polish army uniforms along and shot them. This was one of the tricks Hitler had used to show that Poland was starting a war against Germany. And in February 2022, Putin was claiming that Ukraine was shelling the Russians in the east of Ukraine, and he was putting out a very similar propaganda line to the Russian people.

As in 1939, the Russian air force overwhelmed the Ukrainian air force in short order. The Ukrainians had Cold War era aircraft, while the Russians had modern aircraft. A 30 year difference in combat aircraft technology is quite an advantage.

Predictable the huge Russian army is cutting through the Ukrainian landscape and pushing back the Ukrainian armed forces. Cities are being shelled and missiles of various types are raining down on them. After a couple of days of this all-out assault Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that he's willing to talk to Putin about renouncing any ambitions Ukraine might have had for joining NATO. Meanwhile they Ukrainian government has forbidden mend between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country, and they're handing out guns to people, even passing a law making it lawful for any citizen to carry a firearm in Ukraine. The Ukrainian TV stations are giving people instructions on how to make Molotov Cocktails and giving them other information that might be helpful to ordinary civilians who may suddenly be called upon to fight an invading force of professional soldiers.

It's being reported that over 1,700 Russians have been arrested in Moscow for protesting this war.

Former Chess World Champion, and current chairman of the Renew Democracy Initiative, Gary Kasparov had an opinion piece in the Daily news where he said that Putin is no chess player. He's right, Putin is just a thug who has a play book from 1939, and overwhelming force when confronting a much smaller country. In another opinion piece on Friday in the Daily News Kasparov blamed various countries' appeasement strategies for Putin's power and ambitions. He urged that steps be taken to actually bankrupt Russia. He said, Failing to fight will only postpone the inevitable to another time and place.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
It's Lessening But It's Still Here

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 432,454,032 on Friday, and global deaths reached 5,934,916. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 78,854,634 and the death toll in America was 946,481, so 12,968 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death rate is significantly lower than it was last week. It's still a huge number of deaths every week though. 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.

No Hate

Ethan Dickerson, 19, of Decatur, Illinois has been charged with a hate crime, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery, aggravated unlawful restraint, and home invasion.

This past Thursday afternoon Dickerson broke through a window in the home of a 60 year old man who's a neighbor. h 60 year old man had been in bed. When he heard the window breaking, he got up to investigate and found the 19 year old neighbor coming through that window. The 19 year old and is alleged to have started hitting the victim with a pipe wrench on his face, head and body, saying repeatedly you're gay, you're evil, and I'm going to kill you. Dickerson duct-taped the victim's wrists, forced him into a chair, and continued beating him. The victim of this home invasion was able to free himself from the duct tape and he fought the teenager for the wrench. In the course of this fight Dickerson held the wrench across the victim's neck and began choking him. That's when the police arrived. The cops saw the victim and Dickerson both covered in blood and the 60 year old victim was in bad shape. The victim was taken to a hospital and multiple stitches were required to close his open wounds from the attack.

Ethan Dickerson is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

Some Pretty Awful Things Come Out of Florida

On our February 5th, program we talked about this House Bill 1557 in Florida. It's the product of the fevered hatred coming from Florida politician Joe Harding. This bill would prohibit school districts from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students. It clearly goes even beyond what it says, and would prevent a teacher from answering a question from a kid who needed some information that would apply to him or her. Opponents have been calling it the Don't Say Gay bill.

Well this past week a lot has happened with that bill. This Joe Harding guy amended his anti-gay bill in such a way that it would have required schools to let parents know within six weeks if a kid had come out as LGBT+8. The original bill stated that school officials did not have to out kids to their parents if there was any suspicion that the information could lead to abuse, abandonment or neglect, and Harding's amendment reversed that.

Rep. Carlos G. Smith, Florida's first LGBT+8 Latino lawmaker, said on Twitter that the amendment deliberately puts LGBTQ youth in harms' way, and makes it even more dangerous for vulnerable kids with a state-mandated outing of LGBTQ students to parents, specifically in cases of abuse, abandonment + neglect. There was a great deal of controversy around this obviously bad addition to an obviously bad proposal.

On Tuesday State Rep. Joe Harding, did I mention that he's a Republican by the way? Anyway Harding started whining that his amendment was not about outing a student. But he said that instead of trying to counter what he called misinformation related to his amendment, he said, he had decided to focus on the primary bill that empowers parents to be engaging in their children's lives. So he pulled the amendment. It's reported by a Florida newspaper that some Florida House Democrats, cheered when they learned that the amendment had been pulled. Well, it's still a very bad bill but at least it's not outright murderous anymore, or maybe it's just less murderous.

And then on Thursday afternoon Florida's House of Representatives passed the state's Don't Say Gay bill in a 69-47 vote. Florida sounds like an awful place.

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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