Back of the Book — February 25, 2023

We talked about the topics below and more on this program. The attacks on transgendered people continue and now some Republicans are even going back to the old ploy of criminalizing how people dress. The war that Russia is waging against the people of Ukraine is one year old now. Some people who identify as the radical left are joining with the radical right to form an even less perfect union of ignorant people. We talked about the pandemic, and we also talked a bit about this George Santos character who is just asking for trouble. I plan to update this Web page some time before the end of the world, 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 regular LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday March 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 42 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, February 8, and we had been supposed to hold elections for committee members of the Pacifica national Board's committees. Well, that didn't quite happen. The LSB meeting turned into quite a mess. An LSB member who is notorious for making incoherent or overly complicated motions outdid herself this time. She wanted to pass a motion saying that the WBAI LSB opposed the proposed sale of the KPFK building in Los Angeles. But she couldn't say that, she presented this motion that was all over the place, quoted a gigantic motion that the KPFK LSB had passed and which she seemed to maybe want the WBAI LSB to endorse, except that she skipped parts of it, and she obscured the part of the motion that said anything about exactly what the WBAI LSB was actually doing with regard to this motion.

People who knew that this LSB member had this tendency to make very fouled-up motions had put the motion in the lower part of the agenda for this meeting. The motion-maker wanted it put up very high on the agenda. We went through the parliamentary procedure for this and there was a tie vote, but then the Chair voted to put the incoherent motion in the higher spot on the agenda!

So we took this motion up early in the meeting. I objected because the motion was such a mess that it would be impossible to even know what exactly the WBAI LSB would be doing if the motion were to pass, but the Chair chose to start calling me names. So the seriously defective motion, which had been scheduled to take up 15 minutes on the agenda was debated for the next hour and a half. It became the only real business that the LSB dealt with that night. A total waste of time.

Pacifica is in financial straits. Pacifica Management and the Pacifica National Board decided to sell that building because KPFK has been cratering financially, They've been doing even worse than WBAI, and the building is bigger than they need. I made the point at this meeting that it might come down to a choice between selling the KPFK building or selling WBAI's license. Still the so-called Justice & Unity Campaign faction on the LSB voted for it. I voted against it and others did too. Luckily, the motion eventually failed.

The next day we found that some of the people pushing this motion, including one member of the WBAI LSB and another person who used to be on the LSB and who wants to get back on the LSB, had joined a lawsuit that had been filed by some other people in Pacifica that is trying to force Pacifica to not sell that building and the lawsuit also tried to get a temporary restraining order installing runners-up on the LSBs. The last time we had a wholesale influx of runners-up on the LSBs in Pacifica it was a disaster. I am hearing that the temporary restraining order was denied, but it all goes to court next month. So this lawsuit is costing Pacifica even more money. Some people want to make sure that the firing squad forms a perfect circle before they open fire.

This past week a LSB member resigned from the LSB.

Before the February 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?

Ukraine bats Putin
One Year Anniversary of Putin's War

We talked about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So it was a year ago today, as we record this program on February 24th, that Russia invaded Ukraine in a war of conquest because Vladimir Putin wants to resurrect the Soviet Union. The prediction a year ago was that the Russian army would be in Kiev within three days and that they'd plug in a puppet government and do as they pleased with the conquered populace of Ukraine. I am so glad that it hasn't worked out that way.

I hear that some folks had a rally in Washington, D.C. this past Sunday. I hear that at least one leftist group refused to allow their spokesperson to speak at this event because she would have been sharing the stage with some right-wing bad people. I can understand the right-wing pumping up this rally, they're ashamed that their guy Trump was a coward all his life, including when he was President. And I'm reading that this rally was promoted by Fox News and on Alex Jones' Infowars atrocity. This event was billed as being against the war and against the Deep State.

Now Deep State is a favorite right-wing figure of speech, it's used by the Proud Boys, the Oath-Keepers, LaRouche-ites, Neo-Nazis and other Trump supporters and right-wing cult members. I haven't heard the left using the term before. I've certainly never seen the so-called American left rallying around the term. And a bizarre aspect of this event to me was that the anti-war part was only against the United States of American and Ukraine! I guess the leftoid elements are all considering that Russia is not waging war by blowing up all of that Ukrainian infrastructure and thousands of apartment houses where people live, but that this really is just a special military operation as per Putin's rhetoric. Really, this was a surreal event. The so-called American left is joining the hard-right that's determined to ban women's health care, outlaw treatment for transgender youth, roll back marriage equality, criminalize homosexuality, suppress voters who aren't likely to vote for right-wing bad people and throw a whole lot of those leftoids into prison camps! If last Sunday was an IQ test I think I know who got a very low score.

I've said for years that human politics is circular. If you have a straight line you can have a center, and then you can have a far left and a far right. But in reality those two poles are not so far apart after all. I think that instead of the far left and the far right being very far apart on a long line they are actually located on a circle, with the center at the front of the circle and with the far left and far right meeting and mingling around the back of the circle. They both behave somewhat similarly, and they even agree on some things. This rally on Sunday was an example of that.

And I've seen an announcement that quite a few of those who attended this lopsided event, which drew hundreds of participants according to reports, liked it so much that this odd mixture of fringe-dwellers is going to try to create a big organization based on this rally at some meeting in April, in Texas of all places. Maybe we need to start publicly asking what the hell is wrong with these people? Yeah, you can guess that I didn't go to this ill-informed event.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
2,366 Deaths in America This Past Week

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 674,892,724 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,869,650. In America the number of reported cases as of Friday was 103,370,611 and the death toll in America had reached 1,119,546, so 2,366 people have died of COVID-19 in America in the last week which is about 450 fewer deaths over the past week than we'd had for the previous week. The reported death rate is coming down, but it's still substantial. There's never been a war in which that many people in America have died. And when have thousands of people in America died every week for almost three full years? The pandemic is not over. Pickles of the North and I are still keeping our masks on. We've both gotten our bivalent booster 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.

The last time we did this radio program from WBAI's studios somewhere in downtown Brooklyn was on March 7, 2020. When we come back on the air in two weeks that date will be three years in the past. We do not know what the future holds for us.

Tennessee, state of hate
More Republican Hate

The Republican-dominated House of the Tennessee legislature voted 77-16 to approve a piece of viciously anti-trans and anti-drag legislation on Thursday. The bill is now waiting for Republican Governor Bill Lee to sign it into law. If signed into law this bill would classify drag shows as adult cabaret performances and would criminalize them, as well as making engaging in male or female impersonations in public spaces or in front of children regardless of the nature of the show criminal offenses.

Regarding this bill that needs only the Governor's signature to go into effect a drag performer named Jaidynn told Entertainment Weekly that, Drag is an art form. It's entertainment, and it's inspiring to many. It has saved the lives of many people and without it, our community will miss it greatly. She went on to say, My fear is also for my trans brothers and sisters as they could be targeted for being in drag in public when they are just living their normal lives. The drag bill is being disguised as only for the protection of children. I disagree with this narrative. Firearms are the number one cause of death for children and teens. Depression and anxiety is increasing among our youth. These problems should be addressed rather than blaming the downfall of our children on drag shows that are for the most part private and ticketed.

Yeah, if the Tennessee Republicans cared about saving kids' lives they'd pass laws regarding firearms that would save the kids. On the program I speculated on ways that a real First Amendment test could be applied to this bad law. Some smart lawyers could probably devise some test of the law that would either force the right-wing dominated Supreme Court to strike down the law as unconstitutional or else they'd become a laughing stock for the rest of the world's legal communities.

We went though things like this years ago in New York State. I think that if you're going to arrest a male for wearing a dress then you certainly have to arrest a female for earing pants with a zipper in the front. Sounds silly. It is silly. That Tennessee bill that may become a law is silly.

 George Santos with an M16 on is forehead
He Wants More Attention

We talked about the scandalous George Santos on this program. The feds are investigating the possibility that Santos made himself into a straw donor for all of that money. He didn't have over $700,000 to donate to his campaign, but that much in donations are listed as having been under his name. That's quite illegal. There's a decent chance that he might not complete his two year term before he gets convicted of something.

And then there's his penchant for attracting negative attention to himself. He is now one of the House of Representatives members who is sponsoring a bill to officially name the AR-15 rifle the National Rifle of the United States of America. I am suspecting that not only is this Santos guy a compulsive liar, a cheat and possibly a con man, but he's also got a pretty strong self-destructive streak. We know from the testimony of an ex-roommate that Santos' plan had been to get elected to the House of Representatives for one term and thereby get a pension and lifelong free health care. But he's even endangering that now. Well, he sure knows how to keep himself in the public's eye.

old radio
We're Preempted Next Week

We announced that we are preempted for a fund raising special on Saturday morning March 4. So our next program should be on March 11. You can see our schedule, as far as we're allowed to know it, here.

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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