Back of the Book — July 29, 2023

It's Tuesday morning, August 1, 2023, 06:50 and this Web page is finished. I've added a bit about what we'd said on the program about Rudy Giuliani's stupid defense of his actions with regard to two poll workers who are suing him. I've also put in a little bit about some LGBT+∞ issues from the week before this program aired. The original top of this page follows the arrow. Here is some of what we did on this program. Due to the heat we had to have a small fan going during the recording of this one, but the noise from the fan was down to about -51 dB thanks to how the fan was placed and our cardioid mics. You can hear Pickles of the North reading some poetry on this program.

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 regular WBAI LSB meeting will be on Wednesday August 9, 2023, at 7:00 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. These meetings will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 47 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. One LSB member continues to cause chaos early in the meetings. People waste time and then complain that there's no time left at the end of the meeting and not everybody is willing to indulge them with more time to waste. I gave a Treasurer's Report and the written version is here. The WBAI Local Station Board meeting also met on Wednesday July 26, 2023, for the ostensible purpose of having the LSB and the General Manager talk about the current situation and how to increase audience and revenue in the short term. The usual people delayed things, some LSB members did not understand what meeting it was and the agenda had to be corrected before the meeting could really start. And then there was some screaming and yelling from the people who'd delayed the meeting about the meeting ending after 90 minutes, which is the time that had been allotted for it. Nothing got done at that meeting.

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?

Twitter logo as of 2023
Leon Skum is Killing It

Right after our last program the owner of Twitter, Leon Skum, announced that he was changing the name of Twitter to something else. And then it came out that it would be changed to X. Just the letter X. Apparently Leon Skum has a thing for the letter X. He asked on Twitter for people to send him graphics for this change. And by the end of last weekend he had a new logo, an X, and the site is now not supposed to be Twitter anymore. While after a couple of days that new logo came to replace the blue bird the URL still says Twitter. Now there is just a plain, black and white X to show the site.

From what I've been reading, Leon Skum wants to turn that X site into some sort of super-duper universal application that will run everything. Megalomania does make people think along lines like that. The odds are against it becoming what he fantasizes.

I am also seeing some people wondering if Leon Skum might face some sort of copyright or trademark issues with his X. Some other entities may have some legal claim to infringement, and he himself might have a hard time enforcing intellectual property rights over a single letter of the alphabet. Of course he has enough money and lawyers to make a real fight of it either way.

Some people are bailing out of Twitter over this change. I'm sticking around, for the present, to see what happens with it all.

sars-cov-2 with Guy Fawkes mask
Relaxing For the Summer?

The CDC Web site isn't giving us all that much information about COVID-19 in America, although they're saying that Total Deaths in Americas are at 1,135,919 which means that 555 people have died of COVID-19 since our last program a week ago. So about 100 fewer people died of COVID-19 this past week than had died of it in the previous 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.

Global Warming
It's Really Here

The terrible heat is still killing people and causing problems throughout the Northern Hemisphere. We are currently in day three of a four day heat wave here in Greater New York. The rest of the country has been getting this extreme heat as well, and Europe and China are setting records for extreme heat on those continents. The sea water around the southern part of Florida may have been showing the highest temperature of any sea water in the world, maybe as high as 101° F. this past week or two.

I'm always cautious about saying that certain weather events are definitely being caused by global warming and climate change because any one weather event could be happening without climate change, but it sure does look like this heat is the result of the anthropogenic warming of the Earth.

The Washington Post ran a story this past week about a coalition of scientists called the World Weather Attribution network saying that the heat waves in the United States, Europe were virtually impossible without climate change. That group examined weather data and computer model simulations and found that the world is about 2.2° F. warmer than it was in the late 19th Century. In talking about the current heat waves around the world the co-leader of the group and climate scientist at Imperial College London Friederike Otto said, They are not rare in today's climate, and What surprises me is that people are so surprised. It is exactly what we expected to see. That study found that the heat waves in the American Southwest and southern Europe would have almost no chance of happening in a world without climate change. They said that the heat wave in the so-called People's Republic of China was made about 50 times more likely because of global warming and that the European and North American heat waves were made at least 1,000 times more likely by global warming.

So we are seeing some of the consequences that had been predicted about global warming actually happening. But some of these consequences are happening decades sooner than had been predicted. And there are certain to be consequences from the global warming that no one had thought of. Huge and complex systems like the atmosphere and hydrosphere of a planet are inherently difficult to predict in detail, and at that level of complexity it is actually impossible to tell exactly what will happen and when. It's possible that 2023, may well be remembered as the year when the accumulated consequences of global warming began to get very serious and we may end up seeing some catastrophes that no one had envisaged impacting the lives of billions of people.

Pickles of the North talked about what had happened last Wednesday afternoon, as this heat wave began. The heat came on! The landlord put up the heat for several minutes on a day when we were already sweating from the excessive heat. The radiator was blazing forth, the radiator housing was too hot to touch, and it stayed that way for a long time. Made the apartment even more sweltering than it had been. Of course with the room already so hot the radiator cooled off very slowly.

Pickles of the North does not like the hot weather. She said that one of the things she does to help cool herself off in this kind of weather is to read about cool places, and snow. She read a couple of poems on this program. Here's one by Emily Dickinson that she read on the air.


A snowflake
For Pickles of the North

It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, -
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil

On stump and stack and stem, -
The summer's empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, -
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.

michigan_pride_172x200 (9K)
Good News

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation this week officially banning so-called conversion therapy for LGBT+∞ minors in the state. I used to know a number of gay men who had been subjected to various forms of this homophobic, cruel and unscientific torture in the '40s and '50s. It was a terrible experience for them. It's amazing that some quacks still want to torture children like that in the 21st Century. I'm glad that they were able to get this law passed in Michigan.

malaysia_red (6K)
Bad News

Meanwhile Matt Healy of the band The 1975 kissed bandmate Ross MacDonald on stage in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as an act of protest after speaking out against the Malaysian government's anti-LGBT+∞ policies; so the Malaysian government shut down the ironically named Good Vibes Festival that they were playing at and ordered the band to leave the country. The Malaysian government's shutting down the entire festival may result in quite a financial hit to the organizers of the festival.

Malaysia is simply an anti-LGBT+∞ hell-hole. Same-gender sexual activity is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, corporal punishment and fines. Some parts of Malaysia are worse than others in that they practice the oppressive Sharia law. Conversion therapy is practiced regularly in the country and is openly promoted by politicians and religious leaders. Malaysia's tourism minister claimed in 2019, that the country, which has a population of about 34 million people, has no gay residents. With oppression like that it's no wonder that the entire nation is in the closet.

giuliani_jack-in-the-box (44K)
The Clown Pops Up Again

That idiot Rudy Giuliani admitted this past week that he had been spewing lies about those two Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shay Moss.

Giuliani is not contesting the allegations against him made in a defamation lawsuit filed by Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss, but he says that he should not be found liable for saying what he'd said about them because he claims that the statements did not carry meaning that is defamatory, per se and that his statements were constitutionally protected statements or opinions. This guy was a lawyer? He was a Federal prosecutor? He publicly accused both women of committing federal crimes but that's not damaging per se? Interesting interpretation of the law there.

But this is the idiot who spent all that time making speeches and going on TV whenever he could claiming that Trump had been reelected but that mysterious forces, or in this case Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss, had changed the ballots or had put into the system lots of fraudulent votes for Biden.

That Giuliani lied is an established fact by now. That he caused harm to those two women is undeniable. They were harassed by the MAGA morons after Giuliani falsely accused them of tampering with ballots, and he apparently also claimed that they were doing drugs at the same time. His lies deeply affected their lives, and could have resulted in bodily harm or even death if the crazed Trump supporters who bought Trump's and Giuliani's lies about the 2020, election having been stolen had been able to physically get to them.

I hope those two women whom he victimized get every penny Giuliani has left over after his ex-wife got done with him. And they should probably sue some of the other high-profile Trump crazies, too.

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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