Back of the Book — June 3, 2023

We're back from a short time off. It's Pride Month again. We talked abut that a little bit. We'll probably talk more abut it later this month. This program was a special pitching program. WBAI is behind on it's rent for the studios and the station is also behind on the tower rent and utilities. If the folks at the tower, 4 Times Square, where our transmitter is and where we share the antenna, decide they aren't going to tolerate our being so behind in the rent anymore they could just shut the power off in WBAI's transmitter room and the station would be off the air. We hope that some of our listeners donated some dough during this program. We talked abut the below topics and more. I do intend to update this Web page, so check back for the updates.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of some of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do.

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 WBAI Local Station Board 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?

They raised the debt ceiling
They Raised It Again

We were off last week so we didn't get to comment on the usual debt ceiling ballet that politicians have to go through in order to allow the United States to not default on all of its debts.

This time it was the rather usual demonstration of toe dancing as the Republicans threatened to not vote for the law that would raise the debt ceiling yet again. Everybody starts out with a solid, non-negotiable set of demands and after a suitable amount of time they end up agreeing on a compromise of everything each side has proposed and they then vote to raise the debt ceiling. This particular holdup is something the Republicans have been doing for many years. I do wonder if they would actually allow the nation to default on its debts, or would they fold and just vote to raise the debt ceiling without exacting any political baksheesh? It's notable that when a Republican president is in office the Republicans do not pull this extortionate nonsense.

Of course the extremists of the right and left in Congress are always hot to crash the economy and possibly trigger a worldwide depression. Would the less insane Republicans vote for sanity in such a situation and raise the debt ceiling? The prospect of economic chaos and possibly permanent damage to the United States is just something that the saner members of the Democratic Party find too horrifying to risk, it seems. So the Republican bluff is never called.

I'm glad this ballet has ended in the usual way. I need the pittance I get from Social Security on a monthly basis. It is to be noted, by the way, that the big demand from the Republicans, which they won, was that older Americans receiving food aid from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka food stamps, will need to do some sort of work in order to get those food stamps from now on. The Republicans demanded that this be done in order to save the government money. As it turns out this twisting of the food stamp program is going to end up costing the government $2.1 billion in direct spending according to the Congressional Budget Office. Way to go cost-cutting Republicans!

Of curse their real goal was to cause pain and misery to poor people. So although they're not admitting that they have gotten at least some of what they'd wanted the right-wingers are actually feeling good about what's happened this time, although they will continue to posture about how horrible it is that they didn't get anything they'd wanted from the dance.

The law passed this time sets the next big dance party for early 2025.

The sars-cov-2 virus masked
Not Much Public Information on This Anymore

The CDC Web site seems to no longer be giving up-to-date information about COVID-19 in America, although they're saying that there's been a 7.1% uptick in COVID-19 deaths in the past week.

The pandemic is not over. Pickles of the North and I are still keeping our masks on. We've both gotten our bivalent vaccinations, and our bivalent booster shots. When the new boosters are put out in the Autumn I'm sure that we'll get those as soon as we can too.

Pride Flag
It Is Pride Month

It's Pride Month. I am probably not marching again this year. I can hardly walk three blocks, and waiting around for a long time for whatever group I'm in to join the march is just not something I could do again. I'm hoping to get back into shape so I can attend next year's march.

The Daily News says of Morty Manford, He also went on to found the Gay Activists Alliance. No, he was not the founder of GAA.

Then the Daily News put the following caption on a photograph, Here, demonstrators march for gay rights in New York City in 1970, marking the one year anniversary since police raided the famous bar. No. That photograph was of that GAA demonstration held in August 1970, around Sylvia Rivera being arrested for getting people to sign a petition on 42nd St. calling on then City Council member Carolyn Greitzer to sponsor the first gay rights bill.

The Daily News then labels a photograph, Gay Liberation Front rally, 1970. Well, that's the August 1970, demonstration again and it was called by the Gay activists Alliance! The Daily News also has a photograph with the label Gay Liberation Front rally, 1970 but it's again from that same GAA demonstration. It even has the GAA banner prominently in the photograph. I do have to wonder who came up with all of that misinformation.

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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WBAI related links

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