Back of the Book — June 4, 2022

Here are some of the major topics we talked about on this program. I plan to add a little bit more to this page soon. 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 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?

A Bitcoin factory polluting the air.
Bitcoin Factory Pollution

Early Friday morning the New York State legislature passed a bill that will temporarily halt new large-scale cryptocurrency mining operations in New York State. The Assembly passed this bill back in April, the State Senate surprised some by passing it in the wee hours of Friday morning by a vote of 36-27. It had been looking like it was dead, but at the last minute the votes for it showed up after a lot of calls for its passage by environmentally active New Yorkers. It now needs Governor Hochul's signature to become law.

So-called mining for cryptocurrencies uses up an enormous amount of energy to power the computers that run the mathematical programs that create new cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. An article in Scientific American says, These tasks require enormous energy: in 2021 mining a single Bitcoin required enough energy to power an American household for nine years.[1] What some groups have been doing is gaining control of defunct power plants and devoting the entire plant's energy to powering the cryptocurrency-mining computers.

Several months ago the so-called People's Republic of China was kicking cryptocurrency mining operations out of that country. At that time one of the largest organizations doing the mining said that they were going to relocate their operations to the United States of America. This new legislation only applies to new permits or renewal permits for power plants and it requires the Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a generic environmental impact statement after the close of the public comment and a public hearing period. Environmentalists are glad that this legislation has been passed and are urging the Governor to sign it into law right away. Meanwhile the Blockchain Association, which represents the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries, vowed to continue fighting the measure and called on Governor Hochul to veto the misguided bill. The Blockchain Association also issued a statement that said, We encourage all pro-tech NYers to make their voices heard and ask the governor to veto. It is being reported that there are 30 power plants in New York State that have been repurposed to mine for cryptocurrencies.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
Some Think the Pandemic is Over.

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 531,228,014 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,297,306. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 84,640,384 and the death toll in America was 1,008,307, so 3,758 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death toll is more than 1,100 higher than last week's. The pandemic is not over, even though a lot of people are behaving as if it were.

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.

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week that, We're going to be dealing with this virus on a chronic basis. We really hope … it will reach a level low enough that it doesn't disrupt us to the extent that it has over the past couple of years. COVID-19 case numbers have been increasing nationwide over the past couple of weeks, and average daily case numbers in New York City have nearly doubled. Dr. Fauci said that all Americans can expect to get regular boosters in the future, just as some of us do with the influenza vaccinations.

US Capitol Building
Attacked by Trump Followers

The prosecution of the January 6, insurrectionists continues. A guy named Timothy Hale-Cusanelli who allegedly has ties to Neo-Nazism in America was convicted of five counts against him this past week. This rocket scientist's defense was that he didn't know that Congress met in the Capitol Building. He said that he had some familiarity with the building that he and others who had listened to Trump's rally on January 6, 2021, invaded in an effort to stop the certification of the 2020, election, but according to CNN, he didn't know specifics. Mr. Hale-Cusanelli is reported to have said in his defense that, I thought there were several buildings called Capitol building, I did not realize that Congress met in the Capitol. During the trial he did admit that he had taken college classes in American history and understood the function of the Electoral College. Hale-Cusanelli had also sent out text messages in which he made anti-Semitic claims that Jews were controlling President Biden. Hale-Cusanelli will be sentenced in September.

Another insurrectionist who had attacked the Capitol after attending Trump's rally former Proud Boys leader Henry Enrique Tarrio will remain in jail while awaiting trial. He had asked to be let out on bond, but U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly ruled that Tarrio had very strong evidence against him and that he presents a danger to society that should keep him in custody at least until his hearing takes place. Tarrio hadn't gone to the Capitol Building that say because he was in jail on a charge of burning a Black Lives Matter flag and bringing ammunition to Washington, D.C. Tarrio was sentenced to over 5 months after he was convicted on those charges. Prosecutors are charging Tarrio and the others of using various electronic communications to coordinate an assault on the Capitol while Congress was in session. Tarrio had met with Stewart Rhodes, who heads the Oath Keepers militia group. Rhodes has been charged with seditious conspiracy. Tarrio himself is charged with conspiracy.

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.

You can also send me E-mail.

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WBAI related links

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2022, R. Paul Martin.