Back of the Book — April 16, 2022

We covered the sinkings of two ships on this program. We talked about the RMS Titanic sinking after colliding with an iceberg 110 years and one day before this program. We also talked about the sinking of the VMF Moskva by Ukrainians armed with anti-ship missiles. We also talked about the pandemic and some other topics. I do plan to update this Web page pretty soon. No, really, I do. 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 in executive session on Monday April 25, 2022. The next WBAI LSB meeting that you can listen to and maybe even participate in will be held on Wednesday May 11, 2022, at 7 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 35 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. We had more elections for PNB committees. We'll see how those come out. There was some posturing, and some talk about the reality of the financial situation, which not everyone wanted to be quite so frank.

Before the April, 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?

The ROM Titanic
RMS Titanic

RMS Titanic sank 110 years ago yesterday. In relation to that I saw some photographs by a guy named Frank Browne, he was a Jesuit priest. He took the Titanic from Southampton to Queenstown, Ireland, which is now named Cobh. He took a bunch of photographs of the Titanic and the various things going on around it. Luckily for Frank Browne his Bishop wouldn't let him accept the offer by some rich Americans to have him sail the rest of the way to New York with them at their expense. So he had photographs of the Titanic as a passenger. They may be the only passenger photographs extant. Apparently he was quite the photographer and after the ship sank he had unique photographs, which he sold to various publications. The Eastman Kodak company gave him free film for life after this. It's estimated by the people who restored his photographs that by the time he died in 1960, he'd taken about 42,000 photographs.

One of the things that I learned from reading about Frank Browne's camera work was that the Titanic had nearly had a different disaster when it was leaving the Southampton, England. The ship's screws were so powerful they created a current between Titanic and the other ships nearby in the harbor, the SS New York was pulled toward the Titanic by the rushing water in the confines of the harbor and snapped all of her lines and almost collided with Titanic. How would that have affected history? It might have saved a hell of a lot of lives.

SARS-CoV-2 virus

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 503,244,008 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,194,852. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 80,601,963 and the death toll in America was 988,418, so 3,484 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death rate is down significantly from last week's. The BA.2 sub-variant of the omicron variant is the dominant variant of COVID-19 in America now. 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.

Pickles of the North got her second booster shot last Saturday. I'm probably going to get mine at the VA Hospital this Monday.

So there was that Gridiron Dinner a couple of weeks ago. At least 67 of the people who attended it have tested positive for COVID-19 since then. We'd mentioned some of the high-ranking politicians who'd come down with COVID-19 on the last show. The politicians are still holding hearings and regular legislative sessions with no masks. Stupid.

VMF Moskva in 2009
Russian Warship Sunk
We talked about the latest developments in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainians sank the Russian Black Sea flagship VMF Moskva the other day. This is quite a blow to the Russians and to Putin. Having your flagship of the Black Sea Fleet destroyed by the smaller country you've been pounding for weeks now is certainly a loss of face, as well as a loss of something intrinsically valuable. But the ship was also named after the capital city of the country, so that compounds the embarrassment for the Russians. Putin and his military are really getting knocked back on their heels in this war that Putin started. Also, more and more the world is realizing that Putin is a war criminal engaged in genocide. Well, not the entire world. On WBAI there are still some people who insist that this war is entirely the fault of the United States, for uniting various countries in a military alliance designed to oppose and prevent exactly the kind of military invasion as we're seeing Russia perpetrate against Ukraine. That military alliance, NATO, has kept the peace in Europe for decades. And it makes sense that countries which had been under the yoke of the Communist dictators of the Defunct Soviet Union for years would want to make sure that they were never overrun by the Russians again. It was amusing to see the former members of the Warsaw Pact joining NATO after the Soviet Union collapsed. Unfortunately, the worst people who were involved in the Soviet Union's bad behavior are in charge of the Russian Federation now.

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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