Back of the Book — February 4, 2023

It's Saturday morning, February 4, 2023, 06:33, and I've already updated this Web page a little bit. I've added the part about the nonbinary actors not competing in the Tony Awards. More to come. The original top of this page follows the arrow. This is probably going to go in to the record books as the coldest night and early morning of 2023. We talked about that a bit on this program, and about the no-snow records we broke of almost broke. We also talked about the attacks by West Virginia Republican legislators on trans kids. As was pointed out at a hearing they are going to kill kids if they get their way. We even had a program note about what happened with the time slot last week. I'll be updating this Web page with a little more about what we did on this program. So check back in for that update.

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 regular LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday February 8, 2023, at 7:00 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 41 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met in open session on Wednesday, January 11, and began to hold elections for Directors of the Pacifica Foundation. We also had a lot of posturing by some people. I gave a Treasurer's Report.

Before the January 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?

old radio
What Happened

Program note: The 52 Week Schedule sent to us by the General Manager recently said that we were preempted for a fund raising special last week. Surprise! Last week the station aired our January 28, program again. Our next preemption is officially scheduled for March 4, 2023. Our program schedule, as far as we're allowed to know it, is here.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
7,350 Deaths This Pad Fortnight

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 671,481,177 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,839,691. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 102,566,442 and the death toll in America reached 1,111,128, so 7,350 people have died of COVID-19 in America in the last two weeks which is an average of 3,675 deaths per week. So the average is down by a couple of hundred deaths per week over the past fortnight. The previous week's death toll had been 1,107,616. The pandemic is not over. Pickles of the North and I are still keeping our masks on. We've both gotten our bivalent vaccinations. We are not among those who are saying that getting a COVID-19 infection is like getting a cold.

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.

President Biden is saying that the pandemic emergency will be declared over in May. Oh, I don't know if that's a great idea. Pickles and I will have to figure out what we're going to do.

Snowy Cloud
We Broke One Record

We didn't break both of the snow records that it had looked like we were going to. We did break the one from 1973, about the latest snowfall of the Winter season. We did not break the record for the most days without snow, however. That was set in 2020, and we missed breaking that record by just a few days. If we hadn't gotten 0.4 inches of snow this past Wednesday morning we'd have set a new record tomorrow, Sunday. Ironically, maybe, the Full Moon that will occur tomorrow is called the Snow Moon. We have to settle for the second most days between snowfalls this year. I'm sure that we'll break that record some time in the next few years with the rate at which global warming and climate change is happening.

West Virginia Trans Flag
Bigots Legislating Against Trans Kids

There's a bill called HB 2007 in the West Virginia House that would ban gender-affirming care for youth in the state.

There was a hearing on that bill at the West Virginia state Capitol at Charleston a couple of days and the American Civil Liberties of West Virginia says that of the 81 speakers, 79 were opposed to the passage of the bill - including several testimonies from transgender youth.

United Methodist pastor Jenny Williams told the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee that, You will kill children if you pass this, and, If you oppose the killing of children like you say you do, I would hope that you apply your principles consistently.

Paula Lepp, who apparently said that she's the Christian mother of a Christian child said, The bottom line is this: I would rather have a live daughter than a dead son, and this bill puts that at risk, her child is transgendered.

The mother of another transgendered kid, Jessica Anessa, said that the anti-trans bill would prevent lifesaving, medical care for people who otherwise might commit suicide. The Trevor Project, which has grown to become the world's largest crisis and suicide prevention organization for LGBT+ youth, says that around 6 in 10 trans and nonbinary youth in West Virginia seriously considered committing suicide last year.

Dr. Allison Holstein, who's a pediatrics specialist in Charleston and who was at the hearing on behalf of the West Virginia chapter the American Academy of Pediatrics, said, The bill is dangerous, it's an intrusion on the physician-patient relationship. The attempts to insert politics into medical practice are troubling and very concerning.

Eli Baumwell, who is the West Virginia ACLU interim executive director, said, We hope their voices are heard by every legislator, especially those who chose not to attend in-person and face the very people their legislation is intended to harm.

ticket with transgender flag colors
Transgender on Broadway

Justin David Sullivan, who's a transgender nonbinary singer and actor and who's one of the stars of the Broadway musical & Juliet has withdrawn their name from consideration for a Tony Award because the Tony's have their awards structured around specific genders, and being nonbinary Sullivan didn't want to, choose between one of two gendered categories. The article I read said that Sullivan uses he, she or they pronouns. Sullivan is quoted as saying he's, passionate about diversity and representation in the performing arts, saying, I was disheartened to learn that the Tony Awards are not planning on making this year's nomination categories more inclusive or gender expansive for trans nonbinary performers like myself. She added, Because I was told I had no other option but to choose between one of the two gendered categories in which I would be eligible, I had no choice but to abstain from being considered for a nomination this season. Sullivan continued, saying that as a non-binary performer playing a non-binary principal role on Broadway, Sullivan could not in good faith move forward with denying any part of my identity to conform to a system and structure that does not hold space for people like me. I am hopeful that award shows will learn from this and make meaningful changes necessary to consider, nominate, and award people of all gender identities going forward.

Asia Kate Dillon, who is also a nonbinary performer and who played Malcolm in a production of Macbeth, last year, had also asked not to be considered.

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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