Back of the Book — March 5, 2022

So war and pestilence continue to be the top news items. Are we really in a position to say that the pandemic is over and that people no longer need to take precautions, such as getting vaccinated and wearing masks under certain conditions? On this program we disagreed with that position. We talked about the war that Russia is waging against Ukraine, and the attacks on civilian targets and the shelling of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Pickles of the North talked about Project Artemis, which is seeking to send people back to explore the Moon. We have a bit more to put on this Web page, so check back for 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?

SARS-CoV-2 virus
We Don't Think The Pandemic Is Over

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 443,000,936 on Friday, and global deaths reached 5,988,000. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 79,232,260 and the death toll in America was 957,633, so 11,152 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death rate is once again significantly lower than it was last week, but 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.

We were last at WBAI's studios at 388 Atlantic Ave. On March 7, 2020, just short of two years ago. That was our last actual free-form live radio program. We talked about there still being the danger of catching COVID-19, and also of the danger people are encountering on the subways. Do we want to confront violent crazy people when we go onto the subway at 4 AM to get to WBAI?

There's iffy news and good news about the pandemic at this time. The iffy news is that New York City Mayor Eric Adams is scrapping the mask and vaccination mandates for indoor activities. Starting Monday the city is not going to require any kind of precautions for people doing things indoors. Individual stores and other privately owned venues can require masks, but the city won't back them up. The Mayor's sound bite for this pronouncement is, We are winning, New York. New York City Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi said, While this COVID-19 wave is ebbing, we can't say that the pandemic is ending, and As we look ahead, living with COVID cannot mean ignoring when too many continue to die of COVID. Well, I guess we'll see what happens. We plan to keep pre-recording this radio program for a while longer.

The good news is that researchers in the United Kingdom have announced that the immune suppressant drug baricitinib reduced the risk of dying among hospitalized COVID patients by 13%. They said that it seemed to be especially effective when combined with other drugs, such as the steroid dexamethasone. This stuff hasn't been peer reviewed yet but the scientists who researched it are optimistic. One of the lead researchers, University of Oxford clinical scientist Martin Landray, said, Adding baricitinib on top of whatever else the doctors are currently prescribing ... is beneficial. We talked about how in the 1919 flu pandemic a lot of the deaths were caused by people's immune systems going into overdrive with cytokine storms and that over-reaction of the immune system is what ended up killing so many people.

Anti-vaxxers are still being obnoxious. In Albuquerque, N.M. a woman named Christina Blair got very angry that a guy had a bumper sticker that said that he was vaccinated. Ms. Blair started honking her horn and cursing at the other driver, Gabriel Chavez who said that he waved for Blair to go around him; apparently he thought that she just wanted to get past him, but instead, she caught up to him at a red light and threw an empty water bottle at his car. By the time the light had changed he'd gotten flustered and accidently backed up into the front of her car. The two of them pulled into a Walgreen's parking lot to exchange insurance information when Ms. Blair pulled out a gun and cocked it, aiming it at Chavez. Ms. Blair was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after she'd lied to the police about what had happened, and had had her lie exposed by surveillance video. She has a number of prior arrests for bad behavior and so a judge declared that Ms. Blair is a dangerous person and ordered that she remain in jail until her trial.

Putin attacks Ukraine
Vlad Wants to Suck the Life Out of Ukraine

The Russians are bombing residential neighborhoods and the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Their attacks have set the the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant on fire.

People in Ukraine who have been talking to their parents in Russia have been told by their parents that nothing is happening in Ukraine, that the Russian troops are liberators who are saving the Ukrainians from Nazis. The Russian state media is pushing Putin's propaganda and a lot of Russians are buying it. Meanwhile thousands of other Russians all over that country have been arrested and brutalized by police for trying to demonstrate against the war.

Meanwhile Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican of South Carolina) called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and then backed down from that statement after he got a lot of backlash. Putin needs to be stopped somehow. A palace revolt might be good. On the other hand, I wouldn't cry any crocodile tears if one of his underlings took Putin out on a permanent basis.

The United Nations voted 141-5 that Russia should stop this war of aggression. The five countries voting against the resolution were Russian, Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria. Thirty five countries abstained. Of course it was a non-bindng, General Assembly resolution.

Artemis Project
The Artemis Project

Pickles of the North Talked a bit about NASA's Artemis Project.

She read this information from the NASA Web site: Artemis I, formerly Exploration Mission-1, will be the first integrated test of NASA's deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.

During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown. It will travel 280,000 miles from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a four to six-week mission. Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before.

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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