Back of the Book — April 1, 2023

It's Sunday evening, April 9, 2023, 18:42, and this Web page is finished. I've added another topic that we'd covered on this program. We talked about more than the topics on this page, the link to the audio archive of this program is below. The original top of this page follows the arrow. We had a special pre-program blurb for this program, it was keyed to the date. But we covered a number of topics. We were on an extremely early deadline to get this program in, so things were a little rushed. We had also been surprised when the night before the recording of the program they indicted Trump! Plans got scrapped, topics got bumped into the future or into the bit-bucket entirely and we did talk about the indictment. We hope that there are many more indictments of Trump to come.

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
A Death Downtick

The Johns-Hopkins Web site is no longer covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CDC Web site says that in America the number of reported cases as of Thursday night at 8 PM (ET) was 104,137,196 and the death toll in America was 1,125,366. The CDC is saying that the death toll was 1,596 for this past week, but subtracting last week's total deaths from this weeks gives 1,753. In any event we have either about 300 fewer deaths this week or around 450 fewer. That rate is coming down, but there are still a lot of people dying of this virus more than three years after it came on the global scene.

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.

Trump in his future suit
Trump's Future?

We don't have to tell you that Donnie Bonespur Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. Oh, but it's so good to hear that.

So on Thursday that Manhattan grand jury actually handed down the indictment, at last. So far Trump's threats of death and destruction haven't happened yet. In fact there are more people in front of Trump Tower and in front of the court house in downtown Manhattan who are celebrating his indictment than there are Trump supporters. One Trump supporter who was in front of the courthouse on Thursday got arrested for pulling a knife and threatening a woman who had kids with her on Wednesday. But we'll see what happens when Trump is supposedly going to surrender in Manhattan on Tuesday.

That other creep, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, is saying that the state of Florida is not going to cooperate on the extradition of Trump. Well, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution says that, A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime. In 1987, the Supreme Court reversed a 19th Century ruling on extradition and ruled unanimously that the Federal Courts did indeed have the power to enforce a writ of mandamus and that the 19th Century ruling was outdated and so fugitives for whom extradition had been refused under the former rule are now subject to extradition. So the Governor of Florida may have a problem there. But Trump wants the personal publicity anyway, so he'll probably come to New York to show off and try to raise money from right-wing fools. Oh boy, next Tuesday should be very interesting, although it has the potential to be unpleasant.

And this case is not really just about paying off people to not tattle on his infidelities, it's about falsifying the payoffs. People just keep not getting that. He committed a felony in the cover-up. The cover-up so frequently ends up having worse consequences than what people were trying to cover-up.

Trump chose to have a bund rally for his presidential campaign in Waco, Texas last Saturday. He sent out an E-mail to his supporters asking them to send him money to help, DESTROY the Deep State. Don't they realize that he's constantly trying to get money out of them? So 30 years ago the Branch Dividians were holding out in their Waco compound against the ATF and FBI, was Trump trying to show solidarity with those violent nutcases? He certainly seems to be doing that with violent nutcases these days.

I'm also reading that Trump's former Chief Finance Officer Allen Weisselberg may end up giving more evidence against Trump in some other cases and the Trump camp is apparently not at all pleased about that. It's be interesting if Trump is able to skate on his attempts to overthrow the government and erase the results of an election and then really gets nailed on felony charges for financial scheming. I'm thinking that almost a century ago Al Capone was invulnerable even though he was running the biggest bootlegging cartel in America, and was not only personally murdering enemies but ordering hits on many other people, but then they got him on income tax evasion.

I was reading an opinion piece in the The New York Times about how the right-wing gets people all upset about change and gets people to want to go back to the way things were in the past, cajoling them into thinking that things were so much better in the past, and getting them to trust instincts that reinforce that sort of feeling. I've been reading a book by one Joachim C. Fest, it's a biography, the name of the book is Hitler. Fest notes that in the immediate aftermath of World War I the Weimar Republic of Germany had a lot of people pining for the good old days and embellishing the past. He cites Thomas Mann as saying that what a lot of Germans were getting involved in was, an explosion of antiquarianism. Hitler was an instrument of that, he and the other right-wing criminals of that time were appealing to people to place all of their faith in instinct and to not bother with logic or reason. Fest writes, No doubt the appeal to instinct brought out a good deal of human baseness. No doubt what fascism wanted to restore was often a grotesque parody of the traditions they purported to honor, and the order they hailed was a hollow sham. Yeah, we have some very serious parallels with the Weimar Republic these days. But the Weimar Republic was only a few years old when this sort of thing was wracking it, and it even ceased to exist after about 15 years. If we're lucky the more than 230 years that the democratic republic of the United States of America has been able to at least largely live by its Constitution will help get us through our travails with the right-wing.

The asteroid Ryugu
Organic Molecules Found On Asteroid
photo credit: ISAS/JAXA

In 2018, the Japanese Space Agency landed their the Hayabusa 2 mission to the asteroid Ryugu, which is shown on the left. In 2019, they shot an impactor into Ryugu and then their lander took samples from the crater they'd made in the asteroid and left to return the samples to Earth.


It's being reported in the journal Nature Communications that a team of Japanese and American scientists led by Yasuhiro Oba has analyzed those samples and they've found the chemical compound uracil in the sample. Uracil is one of the five key bases of the RNA molecules that are crucial to life as we know it.

For DNA the base pairs are guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine but for RNA uracil replaces thymine as a base. This shows that the carbonaceous chondrite meteorites that have been found with these organic chemicals in them in the past were not contaminated by contact with Earthly organisms, but that the building blocks of RNA are floating around in space on asteroids. There are 20 amino acids that are needed for life on Earth. All 20 of them, plus more, have been found in meteorites that have fallen to Earth.

There's an animated gif of the asteroid Ryugu here.

old radio
We're Preempted Next Week

We announced that we are preempted for a fund raising special on Saturday morning April 8. So our next program should be on April 15. 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.

You can also send me E-mail.

And now you can even reach me on Twitter Twitter logo

WBAI related links

A WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2023, R. Paul Martin.