Back of the Book — July 23, 2022

It's Monday evening, July 25, 2022, 18:27, and I've finished updating this Web page. I've added the graphics and I've put in some more of what we talked about on this program. The original top of this page follows the arrow. Regular readers of these Web pages for the radio program will notice an absence of graphics accompanying most of the pieces on this page. The fact is that I'm falling asleep here and if I were to try getting the graphics together I'd make a real mess of it so my plan is to get some sleep and them plaster some graphical stuff into this page.

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 meeting of the WBAI LSB will be held on Tuesday August 2, 2022, but it will be in executive session. The next regular LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday August 10, at 7:00 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 38 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. At times it was a bit comical. There was a big dispute about a letter that some said held secret information, although the information had been on the Internet, including on the LSB's own public mailing list, for a while. Some people didn't want it read, others did. The LSB voted that it was indeed in order to have the letter read, but the time had run out and we had to go to Public Comment so the LSB members coudn't read the letter aloud at the meeting. In the end various listeners read the letter aloud as part of Public Comment.

Before the July 13, 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
Is It A Wave Or A Surge?

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 568,617,163 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,381,381. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 90,335,327 and the death toll in America was 1,026,723, so 3,057 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. That's slightly lower than the previous weekly average, but higher than what it had been for a while. The pandemic is not over, even though a lot of people are behaving as if it were.

This week President Biden got COVID-19, and Bennie Thompson, Chair of the January 6th Committee has it. He had to meet with the rest of the committee electronically as he quarantines.

This was the 100th pandemic episode of Back of the Book. The last time we were at WBAI's studios to do a program was on March 7, 2020. It is a bit amazing to us that we have recorded 100 programs for airing, although only 99 have actually aired.

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.

eye camera

Wanna buy some hot Shanghai data? There's a whole bunch of it for sale. An unidentified person or group is offering what is described as data on a billion citizens of the so-called People's Republic of China for about $200,000. Sounds pretty cheap to me. The New York Times says that from the sample they've seen the stolen data seems authentic. The police in the so-called People's Republic of China are very up to date on collecting information on everyone, but a lot of the various commissars and bureaucrats have no idea about keeping the data secure at all. So they accumulate a great deal of it and then they eave it where cyber-criminals will have no big problem getting to it.

Snoops Abound

In closer to home surveillance-state news, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is backing a proposal that would authorize the San Francisco Police Department to use non-city-owned security cameras and camera networks to live monitor significant events with public safety concerns and ongoing felony or misdemeanor violations. Currently, the police can only request historical footage from private cameras related to specific times and locations, rather than blanket monitoring. This new proposal would allow the police to just grab that video and audio information, and they could also use private surveillance devices to monitor things in real time. This relates not just to companies that have cameras aimed at their doors, but also to individual people's Ring cameras that are aimed out at the street. There are serious concerns about the surveillance of everyone and also about what might happen to that date. San Francisco and Shanghai are both vulnerable to data theft.

Speaking of Amazon's surveillance camera doorbell company, Ring, they've already provided video to law enforcement without a warrant or the consent of doorbell-owners 11 times this year alone. This sneaky peeking was revealed in a letter from the company that was made public Wednesday by U.S. Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. It was in response to questions Senator Markey has asked regarding the company's surveillance policies in June.

Secret Service under a cloud
The SS is Under a Cloud Now

With regard to the January 6, Committee hearings. We're no longer hearing about people in the Secret Service saying that they were prepared to deny under oath Cassidy Hutchinson's account of an altercation with Trump attacking Secret Service agents in the limo on January 6. Now the Secret Service news is about their deleted text messages from January 5 and 6, after the Department of Homeland Security and the National Archives had asked that all records be preserved. I still wonder if Pence's concern about being driven away from the Capitol against his will on January 6, was based on his having gotten wind of some elements of the Secret Service being in on the plot to keep Trump on as President after he'd lost the 2020, election. Anyway, this week the January 6th Committee certainly did establish that Trump did not try to stop the attack on the Capitol, and the legislators in it, while he watched it all on Fox News for more than three hours.

Some people are saying that the January 6th Committee's work is not really relevant, that everything they're talking about is in the past and that we should all just move on. Besides the fact that allowing an insurrection to go undocumented, if not unpunished, just makes insurrectionist behavior the norm there's also this: private citizen Donald J. Trump just the other day called Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to lobby him to get a law passed that would overturn Trump's 2020, loss in Wisconsin to President Biden. What apparently triggered this bizarre phone call was that on July 8, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the use of most drop boxes for voters returning absentee ballots was prohibited. The next day Trump called Assembly Speaker Vos and argued that since drop boxes were used during the 2020 election that Wisconsin should be able to invalidate the results of the 2020, election in that state. Trump pushed Mr. Vos to support a resolution that would retract the state's 10 electoral votes cast for Joe Biden. This not only shows Trump's ignorance regarding how governments work, but it also shows that he will cheat however he can get to back into the White house. There's no mechanism in Wisconsin law that would allow for the state's electoral votes to be rescinded. And of course the United States Constitution doesn't allow for a state's presidential election to be overturned after Congress has accepted the results, which was indeed done on January 6, 2021. It's being reported that Assembly Speaker Vos has repeatedly told Trump and his allies that decertifying the former president's loss would violate Wisconsin's Constitution. Vos has told a Wisconsin TV station that, Trump, has a different opinion.

Meanwhile a prosecutor in Georgia is gathering evidence into whether Trump violated the law in his attempt to overturn the election results in that state. It's also being reported that some of Trump's supporters and advisors are concerned about potential legal consequences from the testimony revealed by the House committee investigating Trump's January 6, attack on the Capitol. Yeah, the January 6th Committee is quite relevant, and necessary.

Vannon behind bars
Lock Him Up!

Bannon Guilty! Just before we began to record this program Steve Bannon, well-known bad guy and Trump supporter and advisor, was convicted of contempt charges for defying a congressional subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. One count he was convicted on was for refusing to appear for a deposition and the other was for refusing to provide documents in response to the committee's subpoena. The jury of 8 men and 4 women deliberated just under three hours. Bannon is to be sentenced on October 21, when he could get sentenced to up to two years in federal prison on those counts. The minimum he can get is 60 days in jail. This is all going to be appealed. I wonder whether he'll ever serve a day? He'll certainly work to get Trump elected in 2024, now. I'm sure he'll hope for an actual pardon this time.

Lesbian wedding sign

The House passed the Respect for Marriage Act by a vote of 267-157 with support from 47 Republicans. Of course it now has to go to the Senate where a bunch of slugs will try to prevent it from even coming to a vote.

Gay wedding sign

Speaking of slugs in the Senate, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz was expressing his homophobia recently. He said that the argument for overturning the case Obergefell v. Hodges which allowed same-gender marriage in the United States, was that, Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation's history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states. We saw states before Obergefell — some states were moving to allow gay marriage, other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting. Yeah, and some states had anti-miscegenation laws too. Of course maybe Cruz would like to bring those back too.

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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