Back of the Book — August 5, 2023,

It's Monday night, August 14, 2023, 22:13, and this web page is finished. I've fleshed out the part regarding the Union Square Park Riot, which occupied most of the program, and I've put in the parts about Trump being indicted again and there's a bit about the pandemic. The original top of this page follows the arrow. Okay, so I fell asleep. This is about as minimal a Web page as can be done. I will be updating this Web page today.

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?

union-square-in-spring_1893 (27K)
Union Square in 1893

Most of this program ended up getting devoted to the Union Square riot that had occurred just as we were about to start recording this program. I will really need to update this Web page after the program.

While we were just getting ready to start the primary recording of this program Pickles of the North turned on the radio and heard that something was happening in Union Square Park. So she turned on the TV and we saw that there was a riot going on! Further preparations for this program got put immediately on hold as we watched the events.

The story as we have it is that an influencer who has millions of followers on Twitch had announced that he as giving away 300 Play Station 5 consoles. We gather that at 11:00 AM he had posted to Twitch that he would be doing this at 4:00 PM in Union Square Park. After a while this offer went viral and millions of people saw it. By 3:00 PM a large number of people had already gathered in Union Square Park in hopes of getting one of those game consoles for free. It was reported on TV that by 3:30 PM there were thousands of people in Union Square Park and some of them had started getting rowdy. We tuned in to the TV coverage, and it was covered by all three major networks on their New York City outlets, and we saw a small number of police were there mostly getting hit by debris tossed by a lot of the young people in the park. Events went on from there.

A level four mobilization was called by the NYPD. It was reported that a lot of the crowd was made up of middle school kids. I noticed that many in the crowd were jumping up and down in place at various times. I'm wondering if this jumping up and down behavior, which seemed synchronized, was some meme that all of the quite young people in Union Square Park already knew about.

At one point we saw on the TV coverage that some of the rioters were climbing onto one of those hot dog stands that get set up on the sidewalk early in the morning and then get taken away at night. These things area really just trailers, and early in the morning you can see the SUVs brining them to their destinations for the day and getting them set up. Some of the rioters climbed on top of one and and stealing the water bottles and other inventory that was stored on top of it. Most of that stuff was thrown down to those on the ground, and they mostly threw the water bottles at the cops. A newsstand that sold candy, etc. was ransacked and the proprietor who was assaulted appeared on TV with some injuries. A woman was interviewed by one of the TV stations, and in her live interview she said that the cops were using tear gas and shooting BBs at people. Of course they weren't doing that. We could tell that no such things was happening because this was a very videoed riot. Later in the same interview that same woman said that she heard people saying that. I've seen this sort of things happen when events are moving rapidly. People start just saying things because they assume something and then other people hear them saying those things and pass it along as the truth.

The irresponsible idiot influencer's cohorts at some point had had enough of all of this and his SUV started to back out through the crowd. They were lucky that they didn't crush any of the wild kids that swarmed the car. Some people leapt onto the SUV as it left and stayed on for blocks as it gathered speed. It looked to me like that SUV was going faster than the 25 mph as it sped up one street accompanied by electric scooters. And as it went along it never slowed down, and the people hanging onto the SUV started falling off. I guess that they didn't get hurt to badly because they were so young, but someone could have been killed.

We were told that the Union Square Farmer's Market had to shut down and go away, thus losing a day of sales for those farmers. The mob broke down the oriented strand board that guarded the construction site of the renovated subway entrance on the southwest corner of the park. The mob threw paint that was at the construction site all over the place, they stole tool, some were walking around the park with axes and saws, and whatever they could use as missiles they threw at each other and at the cops.

Cops say they don't know why the crowd behaved that way. They were a mob, that's why! On TV one guy said it was because they were mostly teenaged boys, and they don't use logic; he cited his teenaged son as proof. Lots of the rioters had phones out and they were taking videos of it all, just as happened with the older people at the January 6, insurrection. The irresponsible influencer got arrested and taken away by the police. I guess this will end up being the memorable thing of the Summer of '23.

I was slightly reminded of the Summer of 1979, when I was a part of the campaign against the movie Cruisin' (1980). It was an anti-gay movie based on an anti-gay book. The police, especially the infamous, and eventually disbanded, Tactical Patrol Force was exceptionally violent during those protests. I was a part of the group put together those protests, and the big thing that impressed me about this riot was that the police response was a lot better than it had been in 1979, and even in 2020, when there had been mass protests throughout Greater New York. Maybe the police are learning to behaver better, especially after multi-million dollar judgments against the city for what they did to the protestors in the George Floyd protests.

Front page of the indictment 2023-08-01

This week Donnie Bonespur Trump scored his third indictment. This one was for his role in the plot to overturn the 2020, election, which included his part in the lethal January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. He has pleaded not guilty.

Over 1,000 people have been indicted so far for their parts in the January 6, insurrection; maybe Bonespur was number 1,001. In a statement he made at the Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. shortly after the hearing Trump told reporters that, This is a very sad day for America, and This is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America. Well, Trump becoming president was never supposed to happen in America. I think that if the guys who wrote the Constitution could have seen what he did to remain in office, and he else he did in office, they'd have written the Constitution differently.

It's a 45-page indictment that cites four felony counts, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy to deprive people of their rights. He didn't get that many people demonstrating outside the courthouse this time. He really needs to go to prison for this one.

sars_cov-2 with domino mask
Death Rate Holding Steady

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 1,136,473 which means that 554 people have died of COVID-19 since our last program a week ago. So essentially the same number of people died of COVID-19 this past week than had died of it in the previous week. Maybe it's settling into a groove, although if you're one of those 500+ people that's not so comforting.

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.

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.

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