Back of the Book — March 11, 2023

It's Saturday afternoon, March 11, 2023, 13:33, and I've updated this Web page a little bit with a graphic or two. I may actually finish it entirely this weekend. The original top of this page follows the arrow. Once again we're rushing. I have more to do on this Web page and I may even finish this page and go on to finish or at least update others after that. 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 regular LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday April 12, 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 43 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, March 8, and we once again tried to hold elections for committee members of the Pacifica national Board's committees. This time we managed to do it.

It was a messy meeting, but it was not as bad as the February meeting. We populated some committees. A brand new member, who had replaced a member who'd resigned, tried to get an item on the agenda which would have caused utter chaos by suspending Robert's Rules of Order for the chat function on Zoom. We had a big debate about it and that chaotic proposal got stopped. We then took up the routine item of excusing absences, which was scheduled to take at most five minutes. In the end it took up 24 minutes because the same new member wanted to not excuse some members. The Chair could have handled that better. We went though those committees that we had to populate, and we did Public Comment, and the meeting was about to end and it looked like I would once again not be able to do an oral Treasurer's Report, but people extended the end-time of the meeting to allow it. And I was almost done when my phone got disconnected! My written Treasurer's Report is on the Web page for this program at

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
Bye-Bye Johns-Hopkins Map

The following notice was at the Johns-Hopkins Web site at 8:21 Friday morning, After three years of around-the-clock tracking of COVID-19 data from around the world, Johns Hopkins has discontinued the Coronavirus Resource Center's operations. The site's two raw data repositories will remain accessible for information collected from 1/22/20 to 3/10/23 on cases, deaths, vaccines, testing and demographics.

So, according to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 as of Friday morning, and for the last time, cases in the whole world reached 676,609,955 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,881,955. In America the number of reported cases as of Friday was 103,804,263 and the death toll in America reached 1,123,836, so 4,290 people have died of COVID-19 in America in the last fortnight, for an average of 2,145 per week which is only slightly lower than the previous weeks' numbers.

The CDC Web site says that In America the number of reported cases as of Friday was 103,672,529 and the death toll in America was 1,119,762, with a death rate of 1,862 for the past week. So we have different numbers. We'll see how this goes in the future.

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.

Pickles of the North ran down a timeline of the pandemic. Of note is that the World Health Organization declared that a COVID-19 pandemic was happening three years ago today, on March 11, 2020.

As we've noted before, the last time we did this radio program from WBAI's studios somewhere in downtown Brooklyn was on March 7, 2020. So we have not done a live program for three full years. Will we ever do a live program again? Could we do a live program?

Transgender Pride Flag.
Fighting Tennessee Hate

Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee to signed into law the bill we's talked about last time that would classify drag shows as adult cabaret performances and would criminalize them, as well as engaging in male or female impersonations in public spaces or in front of children regardless of the nature of the show. Other states are doing similar things. Some of this, like outlawing cross-dressing, sounds an awful lot like a 1st Amendment case to me, and one that should be a slam dunk. And of course the laws banning assistance to trans-gendered youth seriously affects them. So there are both legal and humanitarian violations going on here. Who knows that the right-wing dominated Supreme Court might do?

George Santos and a Credit Card (94K)
He's Getting More Attention

The Santos scandal keeps grabbing a lot of people's attention. Santos' former roommate told authorities that Santos was the mastermind of a 2017, identity theft scheme that they both took part in. Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha said in a sworn affidavit sent to investigators that, Santos taught me how to skim card information and how to clone cards. He gave me all the materials and taught me how to put skimming devices and cameras on ATM machines. The self-described former roommate also said, I learned from him how to clone ATM and credit cards. He had a lot of material — parts, printers, blank ATM and credit cards to be painted and engraved with stolen account and personal information. Santos proclaimed himself innocent to reporters, saying, Never did anything of criminal activity, and I have no mastermind event.

One really wants to believe that Santos is guilty of this. But his former roommate, whom Santos has since claimed was never his roommate, has been incarcerated before and that impacts his credibility. Also, with Santos' established record of lying a great deal, and with the criminal indictment from Brazil for something not terribly different from this kind of credit card scam, he is extremely vulnerable to accusations of dishonesty of all kinds. So from the media reports it's hard to tell if this is another example of his unsavory background coming to the fore or if Mr. Trelha is just getting revenge or just wants some attention for himself.

What is certain is that somehow over $700,000 was contributed to Santos' campaign for that seat in the House of Representatives, and where he got the money from is an open question, a pretty mysterious open question. He is already being looked at as a straw donor to his own campaign by the Federal Election Commission. The odds are that without this accusation from Mr. Trelha this freshman Congressman is in serious trouble. We do not wish him well.

us_capitol_building_no_trees_upside_down (209K)
Tourism, Tucker Carlson Style

This past fortnight Speaker of the house Kevin McCarthy authorized the release of more than 40,000 hours of Capitol security footage from Jan. 6, 2021, to the Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who used the video to attempt to play down the violence of Jan. 6 and recast the attack as a largely peaceful gathering.

McCarthy has also authorized a subcommittee to investigate the events surrounding the Capitol breach, warning the House committee that investigated Jan. 6 last year to preserve its files. He appointed Representative Barry Loudermilk of Georgia, a Republican he views as being unfairly maligned by the Jan. 6 panel, as the chairman of a House Administration subcommittee assigned to investigate security failures and review the House Jan. 6 committee's work for signs of bias.

Daylight Saving Time clock

Tomorrow morning Daylight Saving Time is back! I'm going to enjoy that. And then one week from Monday on March 20, 2023, at 5:24 PM (ET) Spring will arrive! Whooppee!

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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