Back of the Book — July 9, 2022

We were glad to get back on the air after having been preempted for a Tower Fund pitching show last week. Yeah, it was about a guy who's put out a book about cancer; I've said quite a number of times that nobody at WBAI can cure cancer. I'm sticking by that statement. We covered quite a number of topics on this program. Some of them are represented on this Web page. I'm hoping to add a little more to this Web page and finish it pretty soon, so you might check back for those possible 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 July 13, 2022, at 7 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 37 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. We finally got to those really, really important agenda items that some people have been pressing the LSB to deal with. They were not so important seeming when we got to hear what people wanted to say about them.

Before the June 8, 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
BA.5 Dominates, Case Rates Rise

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 554,171,755 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,348,814. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 88,483,062 and the death toll in America was 1,020,529, so 4,917 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program two week ago. That averages out to 2,458½ deaths per week. The weekly death toll is lower than it was on our last program, but not by all that much. Still, that's a lot of people dying in a week. 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.

Pickles of the North talked about Mayor Adams' scrapping of the color coded status indicators for the rate of COVID-19 in New York City. She talked about the rise of the infection rates and about the ZIP codes with best and worst rates of COVID-19 infection around the city.

Onion browser guarding a clinic.
Avoiding Prying Eyes

We talked about the crisis that some women are facing due to the recent ruling by the rogue Supreme Court that overturned Roe v Wade. Some women are bailing out of apps that track their menstruation cycles out of fear that law enforcement, or in some states just plain snoops, will use the data to get them charged with terminating a pregnancy. A lot of on-line entities and social media Web sites make their money by collecting data on their users, tracking where on the web people go, and then selling that information, mostly to advertisers. Law enforcement has been known to simply purchase this information, which can be very extensive, in order to get information about people without having to obtain a search warrant. Many people are concerned that in states that deny women the right to determine their own reproductive destiny that women will be tracked on-line to see if they might leave evidence of having had an abortion, or might even just be thinking of getting one. Some states are looking to arrest women who go out of state to get an abortion.

We discussed using the Tor browser, also called the onion browser, to avoid being tracked, snooped on or otherwise made vulnerable to those wanting to imprison women for exercising control over their own bodies. We also talked about using the Duck Duck Go search engine in conjunction with the Tor browser in order to keep all searches, such as for clinics, places that sell morning after pills and other information from being seen by law enforcement and possibly being used in court to convict a women of breaking a law in one of the backward states.

People who want to know more about this privacy issue should go to the Web sites that are linked to here and learn more.

A HIMARS missile launching
An M142 HIMARS system

We talked some more about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Russians have won a victory with the taking of the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk. They're grinding away at the eastern part of Ukraine. The Russians abandoned Snake Island, and then bombarded it when the Ukrainians re-occupied it. The Ukrainians how have the American M142 HIMARS system to shoot back with. It's a much better reply to Putin's bellicose bluster warning the rest of the world not to help Ukraine resist the invasion than some counter-rhetoric. The combination of Putin's rhetoric and the fact that the Ukrainians are now shooting back at the Russian artillery with these powerful rockets certainly exposes Putin as a weakling.

M-16/AT-15 rifle
These Were in the Headlines Again

We have had mass shootings in the past fortnight. A guy who looks nuts to me got on top of a building in the Highland Park suburb of Chicago and started shooting with his AR-15 type rifle. Seven are dead and dozens are wounded. He actually drove away from the carnage he's caused to kill more people at a parade in another small town/suburb but he didn't do it because, according to police who interrogated to him, he hadn't planned it out enough. There were more thoughts and prayers statements from the usual people who think that this kind of thing should be normal. Meanwhile, with about zero notice, the death toll for July 4, in Chicago was 10, with lots more wounded.

That right-wing nutcase Marjorie Taylor Greene, who's in Congress, said that the mass shootings in Highland Park, Illinois and Philadelphia on July 4, with all of the deaths and life changing-wounds said, Two shootings on July Fourth: one in a rich, white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display. It almost sounds like they were designed to make Republicans go along with more gun control. She then added, We didn't see that at all the Pride parades in the month of June. I suspect that she had been hoping that that would happen.

Meanwhile Mojo's Lounge and Bar about 20 miles west of Sacramento, CA cancelled Drag Queen Happy Hour show celebrating the end of Pride Month due to increased threats of violence. Even though the event was cancelled an anti-LGBT+∞ group, allegedly Proud Boys members, tried to storm the place. The bar's owner, Christina Hayes said, The aggressors kind of showed up. We had the doors locked and closed, but when someone tried to leave, they tried to force their way in. And then there was pepper spray, which doesn't work in an inside environment. The Woodland Police Department confirmed that the attack took place.

And 31 members of a right-wing group that calls itself the Patriot Front were arrested in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho because they were going to attack the pride march in that town. Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris said, It appears these people did not come here to engage in peaceful events. This right-wing mob had planned on attacking the people who were participating in the pride events. This Patriot Front group reportedly consists of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and obviously anti-gay bigots. Some patriots! Of the 31 arrested 30 had come from other states to get a chance to attack LGBT+∞ people. They were wearing something close to a uniform, and they all had masks and often sunglasses on to keep from being identified by anyone whom they attacked. Coeur d'Alene police said a concerned citizen spotted the group piling into a U-HAUL with riot gear and at least one smoke grenade, so the person called the cops. The tipster described the the group of bigots as like a little army … loading up into the vehicle. Police said that all 31 anti-gay bigots would be charged with conspiracy to riot, which is a misdemeanor. The organizers of the Pride in the Park event told the local CBS affiliate they thought it was the largest Pride event in the region's history.

Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White said that after the arrests, the police had received 149 calls about the incident, and about half of them were from individuals in our community who are happy to give us their name and tell us that they're proud of the work that we did. And the other 50% - who are completely anonymous, who want nothing more than to scream and yell at us and use some really choice words - offer death threats against myself and other members of the police department merely for doing our jobs. The police said that one call apparently came from Norway! I suppose that Marjorie Taylor Greene would find the Patriot Front group's actions quite acceptable.

4th of July

In the wake of the Uvalde, Texas and Highland Park, Illinois mass murders Republican Jared Patterson of the Texas House of Representatives announced that he would, be introducing legislation next session to ban minors from using social media, saying that it was, long past time to recognize the incredible harm social media is doing to the mental health of young Texans. He later said, I look forward to having the open conversation with my constituents and my colleagues next session about raising the minimum age for social media from 13 years old to 18 years old. So kids can't go on-line but they can still have guns in Texas.

On July 5, the Dallas cowboys football team announced their partnership with the Black Rifle Coffee Company. The company is based in Salt Lake City Utah and sells coffee flavors with gun-related names including AK-47 Espresso Blend, Silencer Smooth Coffee Rounds and Murdered Out Coffee Roast. The Dallas Cowboys and the Black Rifle Coffee Company say that this is a great partnership and apparently they do not see any negative messages in the wake of the recent mass murders.

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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