Back of the Book — May 20, 2023

We talked about the below topics and more on this program. The First Amendment to the Constitution is clearly under attack right now. montana and Florida are both attempting to impinge people's freedom of expression, and they are also states dominated by anti-LGBT+∞ bigots. We also talked about the 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, which will occur this Monday.And Late Spring will begin on Monday afternoon. We also talked about a study that says that the skyscrapers of Manhattan are sinking the island! 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 June 14, 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 45 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. We found out who had gotten elected to the Management Evaluation Committee. One person who is a recent member of the LSB wants to change things and doesn't seem to care that she's causing chaos. Mostly we got reports at this meeting. Some good news is that Pacifica had applied for membership in the CPB. 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. Now I can again and there are a whole bunch of archive blurbs up there now.

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?

Empire State Building
Weighing Us Down

There's a science journal called Earth's Future and it's saying that Manhattan's skyscrapers are making the island sink by one to two mm every year. The paper says, New York City faces accelerating inundation risk from sea level rise, subsidence, and increasing storm intensity from natural and anthropogenic causes, the report also says, Development and filling in of tributaries have cut off nearly all the sediment supply to the East and Harlem Rivers, which in turn has stopped deposition in New York Harbor, increasing the danger of New York City flooding from Nor'easters and hurricanes. Geophysicist Tom Parsons, who works for the United States Geological Survey and who contributed to the study in the Earth's Future article said, The softer the soil, the more compression there is from the buildings, Parsons said. It wasn't a mistake to build such large buildings in New York, but we've just got to keep in mind every time you build something there, you push down the ground a little bit more. He also warned that besides flooding there is also the issue of salt water getting at the steel and concrete that's underground in Manhattan. Both the steel and the concrete can corrode over time. So this is making the sea level rise even more of a threat to New York City. Mr. Parsons said, Major cities on every continent except Antarctica are observed to be subsiding, and the issue may be worsened as populations grow. And the populations are growing, the United Nations is predicting that 68% of all humans on Earth will live in urban areas by 2050.

allied_tanker_torpedoed (21K)
Tanker Dixie Arrow Torpedoed By German Submarine.

Monday will be special. It will mark the 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic which is officially considered to have ended on May 22, 1943, when the Allies were able to destroy more U-boats than the Third Reich could build hat month. The U-boats, as the German submarines were called, were never able to become the extreme menace that they'd been before that date.

We talked about the history of the Battle of the Atlantic a bit on this program. The idea the Nazis had was to strangle Great Britain, an island nation, by interdicting shipping to and from the country. People in Great Britain were starving because they couldn't get enough food imported. A lot of other stuff couldn't get imported in sufficient quantities as well. It wasn't just that people on the so-called home front were starving and having to do without but Great Britain as trying to wage a war against the Third Reich. At one point Great Britain was only a few weeks away from running completely out of food.

Pickles of the North told about how her mother, as a kid, ended up giving up her butter rations to her brother. Pickles' mother doesn't eat butter to this day, and she's almost 92 years old now. A lot of things we take for granted were rationed during World War Ⅱ.

And Monday afternoon will see us slip into late Spring. At 3:52 Monday afternoon we enter late Spring, and that's a sub-season that can be truly wonderful. It's usually sunny and pleasantly warm. Next stop after late Spring will be the Summer Solstice. I have a chart of the seasons and sib-seasons on this Web site.

First Amendment Alert!

On a previous program we talked about Montana Republicans voting to silence a Democratic transgender legislator and approving a law that would ban gender-affirming health care for minors. Well, now the sate of Montana has outlawed the video hosting Web site TikTok in that state. Now there's a lot not to live about TikTok, including anti-LGBT+∞ actions and preventing anything else that might not be approved by the chinese Communist Party. But how to deal with the platform is not such an easy thing to figure out. But that's something that has to be decided and debated on a national level.

It's dangerous to have states trying to act as if they're independent countries. How would Montana ban TikTok? Would they try to prevent people in montana from connecting to the site on the Internet? That sounds seriously like a violation of the right of interstate commerce in the Constitution. It also sounds like a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Pride events are being cancelled in Florida. This past week the president of Tampa Pride, Carrie West, said in a statement that the Tampa Pride board had to cancel their annual end-of-summer Pride on the River event with deep sorrow and sadness. That's because earlier this past week Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law four bills that targeted the rights of LGBT+∞ people. They have been described by critics as the slate of hate. House Bill 1423, commonly referred to as the anti-drag ban, threatens small businesses and organizers of Pride events in Florida with criminal penalties for allowing minors to watch drag shows performances even with a parent's approval. This is clearly another First Amendment issue.

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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