Back of the Book — May 14, 2022

Here are some of the topics we covered on this radio program. If the Supreme Court allows just anyone to carry a concealed firearm that's going to change things drastically and suddenly. How to adapt to it would be a question. And what will they discover about the former UFOs at this hearing? It night be fund to watch them. I do plan to update this Web page at some oint. So you might check in to see those 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 that you can listen to and maybe even participate in will be held on Wednesday June 8, 2022, at 7 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 36 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. There was the usual posturing from the usual practitioners, multiple members who couldn't figure out what was going on, revelations of a $300,000 judgment against WBAI and tales of the IRS grabbing six figures out of some Pacifica bank accounts.

Before the May 11, 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?

gavel+gun (4K)
Will They Make New York a Shooting Gallery?

There's a SCOTUS decision looming that could have really bad consequences. No, not that one. The one I'm talking about this time is the one where the Supreme Court could end up ruling as unconstitutional a New York State law that requires gun owners to obtain a license in order to carry a concealed firearm.

This lawsuit before the Supreme Court was filed by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. Their argument is that the state's licensing law concerning concealed firearms violates the Second Amendment because it limits people's right to bear arms.

So if there can't be limits on the right of the people to keep and bear Arms then this means individual citizens can legally obtain nuclear arms? The issues around the Second amendment have been swirling with a great deal of energy since it was proposed. Now, some of the right-wing Supreme Court justices say they are originalists or strict constructionists. So then they should rule that people may indeed be able to keep arms, but limit them to what was available in 1791, when the Second Amendment was voted into law. See how much mayhem people can cause with flintlock rifles, muskets and pistols. Yeah, I know, it'll never happen.

New York City Mayor Adams said of the gun group's lawsuit This is not Jesse James and the Sundance Kid, who can draw the fastest, you know? For those who are stating that, if all the bad guys have guns, let's equal it out by having all of the good guys have guns, that is just so dumb. Adams has said, that the possibility of the law requiring permits to carry concealed firearms being repealed should make New Yorkers very afraid. Yeah, what do you do when any moron might be carrying a gun? If the right-wingers on the Supreme Court do strike down the local laws and make every place in America a place that allows concealed carry without a permit, that would allow almost everyone to carry a gun around. I don't know that I should get a pistol to carry around with me in that situation. I'm an old man with medical issues, and failing eyesight. My coordination is rather spotty these days. My reflexes are shot. If someone draws a gun on me I'm probably not going to be able to quick draw whatever firearm I'm carrying and shoot him before he shoots me. I haven't fired a gun in more than half a century. So if the right-wing fools on the Supreme Court wipe out New York's law regarding concealed carry we're all going to be in trouble. And this will be the same for a bunch of other states.

In instances of little disputes that become heated, where today people end up cursing at each other or giving each other the finger, very loose gun laws, or no gun laws at all, would escalate those little incidents and could end up with people being shot. And of course you can be a couple of blocks away from a shooting and still catch a bullet. Yeah, the right-wing Supreme Court may do a great deal more damage in addition to the damage their repeal of Roe v. Wade will do. And Mitch McConnell is now talking about a federal law that would ban abortions nationwide and also a national ban on medications that could induce an abortion.

Flying Saucer
What Is That Thing?

Next Tuesday a subcommittee of the House Intelligence Committee will hold the first open congressional hearing on UFOs in more than half a century. They're calling UFOs Unidentified Aerial Phenomena now. A nine page Preliminary Assessment from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence focused on 144 incidents dating back to 2004 and was only able to explain one. The report said that it was largely inconclusive and that limited and inconsistent data created a challenge in evaluating the phenomena. But it said most of the phenomena reported do represent physical objects. The assessment concluded that the objects were not secret U.S. technology and that we currently lack data to indicate any UAP are part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a major technological advancement by a potential adversary. Representative André Carson, Democrat of Indiana and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee's subcommittee on counterterrorism, counterintelligence and counterproliferation, which is holding the hearing said Since this is an area of high public interest, any undue secrecy can serve as an obstacle to solving the mystery, or it could prevent us from finding solutions to potential vulnerabilities. This hearing is about examining steps that the Pentagon can take to reduce the stigma surrounding reporting by military pilots, and by civilian pilots. Ronald S. Moultrie, under secretary of defense for intelligence and security, and Scott W. Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence will be witnesses.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
Killing Thousands Weekly

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 520,451,021 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,261,872. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 82,401,197 and the death toll in America was 999,470, so 2,115 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death rate is lower than last week's. The BA.2.12.1 subvariant of Omicron that now makes up more than a third of new infections. Reuters is saying that we have hit the 1,000,000 deaths mark in America; Reuters includes both confirmed and probable deaths where that data is available. Flags will fly at half-staff through the weekend, the White House announced. 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 and I talked about people's behavior having deteriorated during the pandemic. It's not a new phenomenon.

Following is an excerpt from The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 - 1375).

In the year of our Lord 1348, a terrible plague broke out in Florence, which, from being the finest city in Italy, became the most desolate. It was a strange malady that no drugs could cure; and it was communicated, not merely by conversing with those strickened by the pestilence, but even by touching their clothes, or anything they had worn. As soon as the purple spots, which were the sign of the disease, appeared on the body, death was certain to ensue within three days.

So great were the terror and disorder and distress, that all laws, human and divine, were disregarded. Everybody in Florence did just as he pleased. The wilder sort broke into the houses of rich persons, and gave themselves over to riotous living, exclaiming that, since it was impossible to avoid dying from the plague, they would at least die merrily. Others shut themselves up from the rest of the world, and lived on spare diet, and many thousands fled from their houses into the open country, leaving behind them all their goods and wealth, and all their relatives and friends. Brother fled from brother, wife from husband, and, what was more cruel, even parents forsook their own children. It was perilous to walk the streets, for they were strewn with the bodies of plague-strickened wretches, and I have seen with my own eyes the very dogs perish that touched their rags.

Yeah, we've been seeing that kind of behavior for the past couple of years.

Late Spring will begin next Friday, May 20, at 3:47 in the afternoon. Late Spring can be a really great sub-season. You can find out more about the seasons and sub-seasons by going here.

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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