Back of the Book — July 1, 2023

This was our annual Christopher Street Liberation Day program, aka our Pride Program. We mostly talked abut on member of the Gay Activists Alliance whom I used to know and about how he was mistreated by the military when they gave him a less than honorable discharge. We talked about the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic that's still going on. We talked about other things as well, and I'll be updating this Web page with some more information about that. Be sure to check back for the 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.

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 July 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 46 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. Someone continues to cause chaos. People waste time and then complain that there's no time left and not everybody will indulge them with more time to waste. 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?

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We didn't go to the Christopher Street Liberation Day March again this year, but we did watch it on TV. I'm really hoping that I'll be able to get into better physical shape so I can march next year.

On Channel 7 they had some technical problem with broadcasting the basketball game that was supposed to be on after the march coverage and so they had their march coverage go on for an extra 45 minutes. We did notice that the movement groups, the ones that were not big deals, never got on TV again. Some of the groups that did get on were pretty small.

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The Battle of Tarawa, Where Wally Was, November 21, 1943

I heard on another radio station about a gay veteran who was helping other gay veterans who had gotten bad discharges in the past to rectify that. It reminded me of Wally. I figure I shouldn't give his last name, although I strongly suspect that Wally is no longer with us, if he were I think that he would be pushing 100 by now. Wally was in World War II. He was a Corpsman, which is the Navy version of a medic. He was a Corpsman in the Pacific Theater of Operations. He didn't talk about it much, but he did mention Tarawa a little bit. The Battle of Tarawa happened in November 1943. It was a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean. It was one of the small islands that the American military had decided had to be taken. The biggest part of the island is about two miles long and less than half a mile wide. It's basically a sandbar on top of part of a coral reef. The Japanese knew that it would be targeted, and they spent almost a full year beefing it up to resist invasion. The Japanese commander who was in charge of beefing it up was an engineer, and he knew how to turn a coral reef with sand on top of it into a fortress. Just before the battle he was replaced by Rear Admiral Keiji Shibazaki of the Imperial Japanese Navy who told his troops that, it would take one million men one hundred years to conquer Tarawa. The battle only lasted a few days, but the 2nd Marine Division had 1,009 men killed and more than twice that number wounded. The Japanese garrison had 3,636 men, after the battle only one officer and sixteen enlisted men surrendered all other Japanese troops were killed in the battle. Wally was a Corpsman in that meat grinder so he saw the dead and the wounded men, mostly very young men.

War damages people like nothing else can. Wally served in that capacity through the war. When the war was over Wally was given a bad discharge for being homosexual. Wally was not a butch guy, he was a little bit effeminate, which may not be a word that's used anymore, for all I know. That is what got him targeted and what got him an other-than-honorable discharge. This affected his ability to get many kinds of jobs, especially after World War II.

Wally and some other gay veterans of that war who were in the Gay Activists Alliance were trying to get their discharges changed to something less damning. They had all served, but they were thrown out of the service when the war ended and they had no rights to veterans' services, like health care and educational benefits. It's hard to imagine today how damning such a bad discharge was back then. It was a time when there was no such concept as gay rights. There was very little hope of reversing the Navy's bad discharge.

sars-cov-2 with a hockey mask
It Really is Still There

The CDC Web site isn't giving us lot of up-to-date information about COVID-19 in America these days, although they're saying that Total Deaths are at 1,132,206 which means that 1,414 people have died of COVID-19 since our last program two weeks ago. That's an average of 707 a week, which is very similar to what it had been before our last program. The CDC says that there's been a 1.1% down tick 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 we'll get those as soon as we can too. If you're still wearing a mask in some places, or just thinking that the pandemic might not really be over, We're here to tell you that you're not alone.

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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