Back of the Book — May 6, 2023

We are in the second half of Spring, and we're also in the Middle Third of the year. The Middle Third provides us with more sunlight and warmer temperatures than any other time of the year. I am so glad that the Middle Third is here again. We talked about Clarence Thomas' ongoing set of scandals, and about the Republicans of Montana who are acting out their hatreds and violating the rights of another Representative of that state and trying to mask their actions with talk about decorum. We talked about the pandemic, and also a bit about King Chuckie Ⅲ's coronation. I plan to update this Web page soon, 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 LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday May 10, 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 44 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, April 12. It wasn't that bad a meeting. Another brand new member, who had replaced one more member who'd resigned, showed up after having not done so for several meetings. The routine item of excusing absences was again made to take longer than necessary by another new member who is now apparently going to make a big deal about excusing absences at every meeting. The LSB voted to create a Management Evaluation Committee; nominations were held and voting for the candidates is underway. The Community Advisory Board made a report at his meeting and apparently its members said that producers should not be able to boycott listeners when they call in. It sounds like they want to be able to call into a program and talk to their heart's content and the producer would be obligated to let them do as they please. Crazy stuff. Another request from those Community Advisory Board members was that WBAI should tell everyone how to have a show on WBAI with a detailed point by point explanation of the process. Yeah, some of them really want to get on the air. I gave a Treasurer's Report and the written version is here.

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?

Clarence Thomas' Billboard
He May As Well Advertise

There are some new revelations about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his relatives to disgust us. It's been discovered that the right-wing billionaire Harlan Crow, who's been giving Clarence Thomas personal gifts amounting to over a million dollars over the years, none of which has been reported by Thomas as required by law, has also admitted to paying the private school tuition for a nephew that Thomas has said he was raising as a son. His school costs about $6,000 a month.

Also this week it's being reported by the Washington Post that Clarence Thomas' wife, right-wing activist Ginni Thomas, was getting paid by Leonard Leo, a right-wing mover and shaker who has played a prominent role in shaping the current Supreme Court through his non-profit group called the Federalist Society. It's being reported that she had received nearly $100,000 in secret payments in 2011, and 2012, from this Leonard Leo guy. And the payments were laundered through Donald Trump's former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway who had been Trump's Campaign Manager during the 2016, election. The money was laundered through a a company run by Kellyanne Conway by saying that she was being paid for consulting work and then Conway gave the money to Ginni Thomas. This Leonard Leo guy sent along a note with the money saying, No mention of Ginni, of course. Sounds like an acknowledgment of guilt to me!

While these under-the-table payments to Clarence Thomas' wife were being made Leonard Leo's non-profit group was filing a brief in favor of gutting of the Voting Rights Act in a case named Shelby County v. Holder. Clarence Thomas not only took part in the Supreme Court's consideration of that case but he voted as a part of the majority in the 5 to 4 decision in that case that approved the right-wing attempts to block people from voting.

Of course this is all unreported by Clarence Thomas, even though reporting these gifts is required by law. And did anybody report all of these shenanigans on their taxes? Is anyone going to bring evasion of income tax charges against Clarence Thomas, his wife and other right-wing bandits? And this Leonard Leo guy is quoted as saying that he wanted to keep the payments secret to avoid scrutiny of Clarence and Ginni Thomas by disrespectful, malicious and gossipy people. Yeah, they're called the voters.

Montana Hates LGBT+∞ People
They Hate Free Speech Too

Late last month Montana Republicans voted 68 to 32 to silence Democratic transgender legislator Zooey Zephyr from floor debates for breaking decorum because during a debate on a proposed law that would ban gender-affirming healthcare for minors she said to the other lawmakers who were voting, If you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments, I hope the next time there's an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands. Under the terms of the motion that passed Zephyr will be allowed to vote but is barred from the House floor, anteroom and gallery for the remainder of the legislative session, scheduled to end this coming Wednesday May 10.

In the past pollsters have conducted polls that asked people on the street if they would favor amending the Constitution. The people were shown the Bill of Rights and most of them said that they would be against amending the Constitution with those amendments. I guess that the First Amendment is not something that Republican members of the Montana House of Representatives favor or acknowledge.

crown_of_saint_edward (31K)
King Chuckie Ⅲ's New Hat

We noted that the guy who had until a few months ago been wandering around as the Prince of Wales was going to be crowned King Chuckie Ⅲ this morning. In fact those naughty Brit royals have scheduled their monarchical hijinks to start in their mid-morning, which translates to 5 AM (ET) here. They have purposely made it so that the American TV coverage will begin at the same time as our radio program! They're just doing this to try to steal away our audience. The gall of these inbred monsters!

We may make a reference to the coronation during this program.

As a part of this entire medieval enterprise, and in order to reinforce the nostalgia for things archaic that it all celebrates, plenty of horse manure is going to be spread all over the streets of London. Yeah, hot, used horse food is definitely royal, all right. Few things say 21st Century more than softball-sized chunks of excrement all over the public places where the general population has to walk and drive.

It is not known at this time if the planners of this extravaganza are going to randomly choose citizens off the streets to be beheaded in order to reinforce those old-time feelings. Lucky citizens will simply get a turn on the rack, but not for too long a while. King Chuckie Ⅲ will be naming his current wife as Queen. That will probably make his position with regard to her sound better. After all, it's much less dignified to be called the Queen Consort's Tampon.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
The W.H.O. Says the Emergency is Over

The CDC Web site says that in America the number of reported cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday night at 8 PM (ET) was 104,618,931 and the death toll in America was 1,131,819. The CDC is saying that the death toll was 1,109 for this past week. That's a little bit higher than last week's death rate from COVID-19.

The pandemic is not over. Pickles of the North and I are still keeping our masks on. We've both gotten our bivalent vaccinations, Pickles got her second bivalent booster shot later Saturday at noon, I'll get mine soon, now that those booster vaccinations have been approved for old farts like us. 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 he North talked about the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) announcing that in a few days it would declare the world-wide health emergency of COVID-19 to be over. We both disagree with that. In America more than a thousand people a week are still dying from COVID-19. And the W.H.O. also says that it's possible that in the course of the last three years about 21,000,000 people have probably died from COVID-19, not the 7,000,000 that the official records show. They're probably right about that.

The Middle Third is here! So far it's been mostly a wet and overcast Middle Third, but there will probably be sunny days coming. We did have a month of May some years ago that was gloomy and rainy for the entire month. This program is also not airing exclusively in the deep night anymore. The Sun rises today, May 6, at 5:49 AM. Oh my.

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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