Back of the Book — May 28, 2022

We spent a lot of the time of the radio program talking about the mass murders in Uvalde, Texas, and the various responses, and non-responses, to them. This is the second week in a row with a big mass murder. And the Russian invasion of Ukraine is still going on and the pandemic is still here, although lots of people seem to be in denial about that. I'll be updating this Web page soon, so check back for 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?

Rifles aimed at a school
Another Mass Murder of Children and Teachers

Another mass shooting in America this past Tuesday. We just had one last week. Another 18-year-old who showed up with another AR-15 style rifle, this time at the Robb Elementary School in little Uvalde, TX. The death toll was 21 this time, 19 grammar school children and two teachers.

This 18-year-old didn't post any long screeds on-line, he does not seem to have had a political agenda, and he was a local resident. His mother is quoted as saying that sometimes he gets mad and becomes aggressive. He was living with his grandparents because he'd had a big fight with his mother over Wi-Fi access and they couldn't live together anymore. Before he left to murder 21 people he shot his grandmother in the face and drove her pickup truck to the Robb Elementary School. He had no driver's license and he apparently didn't know how to drive and so the truck ended up in a ditch, unfortunately he got out of the truck and the ditch with one of his recently purchased AR-15 rifles.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott Tweeted, I mourn this horrific loss & urge all Texans to come together. He held a big press conference with a lot of Texas politicians and law enforcement people around him the day after the mass murders. Abbott said that this event had been unpredictable. After that statement Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas Beto O'Rourke walked up to the stage that Abbott and the others were crowded onto and said, It's on you, pointing to Abbott. O'Rourke said You said this wasn't predictable, it's totally predictable. So some of the people on the stage called O'Rourke names and as he was led away by police he said, Someone needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed like they were in Uvalde. O'Rourke had earlier Tweeted to Governor Abbott, If you have any decency, you will immediately withdraw from this weekend's NRA convention and urge them to hold it anywhere but Texas, out of respect for the victims of the latest mass shooting.

Abbott had resisted cancelling his speech at the NRA convention, but as we were preparing this program he relented, sort of, and said he wouldn't go, but would instead make an appearance at Uvalde, Texas where he'll hold another photo-op. Before he goes there, his spokesman said, he will record a video to be played for the attendees at the NRA convention.

People have also dug up a Tweet that Governor Abbott had made in 2015, when he promoted the NRA and linked to an article about the state's gun sales. The Tweet said, I'm EMBARRASSED: Texas #2 in nation for new gun purchases, behind CALIFORNIA. Let's pick up the pace Texans. So then he was telling people in Texas to buy even more guns. Texas has terribly lax gun laws. Almost anyone can carry almost any kind of firearm in public and it's okay with Texas' leaders.

Senator Chuck Schumer said, After Beto O'Rourke confronted Texas Gov. Abbott's press conference, the MAGA governor gave some empty platitudes about healing and hope. He asked people to put aside their agendas and think about someone other than themselves. How dare he? What an absolute fraud.

After the mass murders Senator Ted Cruz said that he and his wife, Are fervently lifting up in prayer the children and families in the horrific shooting in Uvalde. So for Cruz it's the usual thoughts and prayers around this kind of thing. Those prayers sure don't seem to be working. Cruz reportedly received more money from gun nuts than any other candidate in the 2018 election - more than $300,000. A couple of days after the mass murders Cruz advocated having only one door on schools with two arms police there, as the solution to the problem of people showing up and shooting the children in a classroom. Yeah, forget about fire safety. I can see them evacuating the 600 kids, along with teachers and other workers at that school, via a single, guarded door in case of a fire. Cruz has since also dropped out of appearing at the NRA convention. Trump's still going though.

President Biden referenced the murders in a speech to the nation Tuesday night, saying, Since then, there have been over 900 incidents of gunfire reported on school grounds. He listed some of them, including the 2018, murders at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the shooting earlier this year at Oxford High School in Michigan. Biden said I'm sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage. He ordered flags on federal buildings nationwide to be flown at half-staff in response to the murders. He gave the speech after returning from meeting with several world leaders on a trip to Asia. He said, On that 17-hour flight, what struck me is these kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world, he then asked, Why? They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes. They have people who are lost. But these kind of mass shootings never happen with the frequency they happen in America.

During the shooting Miah Cerrillo, who's 11 years old, saw her friend next to her full of blood and she got blood and put it on herself. She played dead and survived the massacre. She had bullet fragments in her back, but she was hospitalized and survived.

A serious aspect of this particular school shooting is that the police blew it. After the Columbine High School mass murders in 1999, when a pair of young shooters killed 13 people the way in which police should handle these sorts of incidents changed. After Columbine law enforcement raced toward the gunfire, instead of establishing a perimeter before engaging with the suspect. Uvalde is a hick town, with hick cops. They did not pursue the shooter properly. They have all sorts of excuses. They said they were evacuating kids. Robert McCrie, a professor of security management at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said, that it's Not typical to wait that long before police officers act. He added that it should, at most, take law enforcement mere minutes to react to emergency incidents like an active shooter situation. Professor McCrie said, Police put themselves in harm's way - and they needn't be reckless about it - but they are trained to respond to weapons use, trained to respond to emergencies. It was daylight. It was an emergency. People were in chaos. The first officer on the scene should have alerted headquarters that he was going in, and requested backup for support.

Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar in response to a Tweet replied regarding the identity of the shooter that, It's a transsexual leftist illegal alien named Salvatore Ramos. It's apparently your kind of trash. So I think we're justified in concluding that this Gosar character is just bat-shit crazy.

Republicans are trying to blame the shooting on President Biden. Did I mention that Donnie Bonespur Trump is still going to the NRA convention this weekend?

SARS-CoV-2 virus
Still Killing Thousands Every Week

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 528,197,411 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,285,686. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 83,934,214 and the death toll in America was 1,004,549, so 2,613 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death is a couple hundred higher than last week's. The BA.2.12.1 subvariant of Omicron is still raging through the world. 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.

according to a large, new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one in five adult Covid survivors under the age of 65 in the United States has experienced at least one health condition that could be considered long Covid. Among patients 65 and older, the number is even higher: one in four.

New York City is seeing more cases of COVID-19 again. Mayor Adams suggests people wear masks, but he's refusing to make that a mandate again. Maybe he figures that would hurt his chances in his run for president 🤣.

The arrest count for the insurrection on January 6, 2021, has topped 800. This past week Greg Rubenacker, who's from Farmingdale, Long Island, was sentenced to three years and five months in prison. This was the jackass who posted video of himself on-line showing him saying Holy shit. This is history. We took the Capitol, and Smoke out the Capitol, baby! Smells like freedom in here, as he smoked marijuana. I hope he serves that full sentence. He got off lightly. He was one of the initial group that broke into the Senate Chamber.

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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