Back of the Book — January 15, 2022

It's Saturday afternoon, January 15, 2022, 16:53, and I've updated this Web page a bit. I've put in the link to the audio archive of this program, I've added Pickles of the North's piece about face masks, and I've put up the segment about the insurrection on January 6, 2021. In the near future I should be done updating this Web page. The original top of this page follows the arrow. We covered a bunch of topics on this program. I plan to post about more of them up here soon. Check back for those updates. Meanwhile stay warm.

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 WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday February 1, 2022, in executive session. The next regular WBAI LSB meeting should be held on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at 7 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meetings will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 32 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, as both the LSB and as a Delegates Assembly. We easily elected WBAI's Directors to the Pacifica National Board at that meeting. Only enough people wanted to become Directors as we had slots for Directors, so they were all elected by acclamation. This meeting also featured a time keeper who couldn't keep time and people disrupting the meeting because they lost an election. In Public Comment we had anti-vaxxers whining that they weren't getting enough air time on WBAI for their life threatening disinformation.

The results are in and these are the 2022, WBAI Directors elected to the Pacifica national Board:

Staff - Shawn Rhodes
Listener - Jim Dingeman
Listener - James Sagurton
Listener - Sharonne Salaam

Before the January 12, meeting I had put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read.

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. You can take a look at it and see if I've been able to post anything on it lately. There are still some limitations, but I am assured that I can plug in the archive blurbs that were lost in the latest upgrade.

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?

SARS-CoV-2 virus
It's Killed Even More This Week

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 322,420,429 on Friday, and global deaths reached 5,527,145. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 64,670,188 and the death toll in America was 848,812, so 12,818 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. This week's death rate is back up again as compared to last week's program.

By the time this program airs on Saturday morning all of those figures we quoted will be higher of course. I'll say again that this was all mostly preventable.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is under attack from right-wing Senators. That creep Rand Paul actually accused Dr. Fauci of being responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths from COVID-19. At the Senate hearing Dr. Fauci said to Rand Paul regarding the disinformation and false accusations he's made that, All of a sudden that kindles the crazies, and I have threats upon my life and harassment of my family and my children receiving obscene phone calls. Of course the spread of the disease in America is mostly the fault of tens of millions of people who refuse to get vaccinated, and many of them are refusing to get vaccinated because of right-wing disinformation from Rand Paul and other Republican politicians.

Joining the right-wing pileup on Dr. Fauci is Senator Roger Marshall (R) Kansas, who is supposedly planning to introduce the FAUCI Act in the Senate. The bill is really called the Financial Accountability for Uniquely Compensated Individuals Act according to a Tweet Marshall made about his plan on Friday. Perhaps tellingly Marshall has not yet released a text of the proposed legislation and there's no information on when Marshall might introduce the bill. Maybe Senator Marshall never will bring his bill to the Senate floor. Maybe this was all an attempt to intimidate or embarrass Dr. Fauci with a threat of revealing his personal finances to the world.

During a hearing earlier this week Marshall asked Fauci, Would you be willing to submit to Congress and the public a financial disclosure that includes your past and current investments? Dr. Fauci seems to have surprised the Senator by replying, I don't understand why you're asking me that question, and telling the Senator that his financial disclosures have been public since he joined the National Institutes of Health more than 30 years ago. Dr. Fauci ended the exchange by saying You're so misinformed. It's extraordinary.

What really seems to have bothered the Senator was a remark Dr. Fauci made right after their back-and-forth in the committee hearing when he didn't realize that he was talking near a hot microphone. Dr. Fauci said of Senator Marshall, What a moron, Jesus Christ!. This seems to have been what prompted Marshall to make his announcement of retaliatory legislation to tell the world what Dr. Fauci's personal finances are like. Yeah, Marshall is a petty politician in the Senate, and Dr. Fauci has him pegged.

Pickles of the North has recently bought some more face masks. She shared what she'd learned while shopping for them with the listeners.

Pickles here! R. Paul and I talked a bit about masks, and how they evolved from us all making them at home from T-shirts and bandanas to the readily available non-medical masks you can pick up just about everywhere (including, unfortunately, now that I think of it, off every city street where litterbugs toss them after use!) But since omicron is so much more contagious than alpha, the original version of the virus, or the even more deadly delta, we all need better masks right now, something that fits more securely than the three layered non-medical flat mask.

face mask

KN95 and N95 masks fit the bill. Those masks prevent 95% of stuff, including the virus that gives you COVID-19, from reaching your airways. They cup your nose and chin and don't squish your nose, and the highest grade models were the ones people on the front lines of healthcare were so sorely lacking at the start of the pandemic. Last May we started wearing some non medical KN95s, out of, as they say, an abundance of caution. You can get them from a hardware store or online. You can breath more comfortably with them and they don't fog up your glasses.

Most of us don't want to spread or contract the virus, and so we want to know if our masks are the real thing, and not counterfeits. Below are some links to government Web sites that give you an idea of which masks are bona fide. I found them to be pretty helpful. Also, the main difference between an N95 and a KN95 is that the N95 loops around your ears and the KN95 loops around the back of your head. We have some KN95s that we tie around our heads with a fresh shoelace.

We re-use our masks if we haven't sneezed into them and if they've only been worn for a couple of hours. I keep track of how many hours and we store them in clean brown paper bags. If they get wet from rain or snow we toss them. We wear them a total of eight hours before discarding - you can read up about how or if to re-use them. Don't forget to cut the loops in case the discarded masks end up around little critters!

The federal government is planning on sending a couple or three of this type of mask to every citizen. Until then, you can check out:

The federal government is also planning to provide four free rapid COVID-19 tests via a Web site that goes live on January 19.

The Next Generation Space Telescope
It's Unfolded and Nearly in Place

The Next Generation Space Telescope, which is officially named after anti-gay government worker James Webb, has completely unfolded. The big unfolding of the giant telescope got through all 344 single points of failure successfully. The huge space telescope is most of the way to the L2 point now, and when it gets there a lot of adjusting will need to be done, but a lot of NASA people can breathe a little more easily now. One thing that I find really impressive is that this telescope has a mirror that's bigger than the famous Hale Telescope at Mount Palomar which for a long time was the largest telescope in the world.

The Capitol Building

Things are heating up with regard to the insurrection of January 6, 2021. There have been more than 725 arrests so far. More than 170 of those arrested have pleaded guilty, primarily to misdemeanors.

Virginia Marie Spencer of North Carolina is a mother of five children. She and her husband brought their 14 year old son with them to the insurrection. Both adults were arrested in Durham, North Carolina within weeks of the insurrection. Mrs. Spencer has plead guilty to, parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, and U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said that it was very hard to comprehend why the Spencers would bring their kid to such a thing. The judge said to Mrs. Spencer, It must have been a traumatic experience to witness this kind of violence, for the kid, and she said It's a complete lack of judgment on your part. She then sentenced Mrs. Spencer to 90 days in prison.

The Spencers spent more than half an hour inside the Capitol Building on that January 6, and they continued pushing into the building behind a group of so-called Proud Boys even as the cops were tear gassing people trying to drive them out. The Spencers entered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's suite and put video of that on Facebook. Her husband pleaded not guilty to riot-related charges, and he's going to trial.

And we're finally seeing some serious charges for the organized insurrectionists. The leader of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia, Stewart Rhodes, and 10 of his cohorts were charged in an indictment from a Washington, D.C. grand jury with seditious conspiracy Wednesday. Each of these enemies of democracy will now face up to 20 years in prison for what they did. The Justice Department issued a press release that said, Teams were prepared to rapidly transport firearms and other weapons into Washington, D.C., in support of operations aimed at using force to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power. Some of these violent right-wing creeps were seen moving through the crowd and into the Capitol Building in what's called a military stack Stewart Rhodes claimed he was only in the area to keep fellow Oath Keepers out of trouble.

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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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2022, R. Paul Martin.