Back of the Book — July 30, 2022

It's Friday morning, August 5, 2022, 05:39, and this Web page is finished. I've upgraded some graphics and I've put in the piece about Russia's announcement about pulling out of the International Space Station. We covered more than the below set of topics on this program, so a visit to the Web archive might be a good idea if you're interested in them. The original top of this page follows the arrow. Another mid-Summer program, and here I am again half asleep as I construct this Web page for the program. We covered the below topics and more on this program. We also pitched.

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 meeting of the WBAI LSB will be held on Tuesday August 2, 2022, but it will be in executive session. The next regular LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday August 10, at 7:00 PM on ZOOM, even though ZOOM compromises privacy and security. This meeting will be held as a teleconference meeting, as the 38 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. At times it was a bit comical. There was a big dispute about a letter that some said held secret information, although the information had been on the Internet, including on the LSB's own public mailing list, for a while. Some people didn't want it read, others did. The LSB voted that it was indeed in order to have the letter read, but the time had run out and we had to go to Public Comment so the LSB members coudn't read the letter aloud at the meeting. In the end various listeners read the letter aloud as part of Public Comment.

Before the July 13, 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
NYC Is Not Tracking

According to the Johns-Hopkins Web site COVID-19 cases in the whole world reached 575,956,041 on Friday, and global deaths reached 6,397,961. In America the number of cases as of Friday was 91,247,550 and the death toll in America was 1,029,856, so 3,133 people have died of COVID-19 in America since our last program one week ago. That's a bit higher than the previous weekly average. The pandemic is not over, even though a lot of people are behaving as if it were.

Biden's recovered. The CDC has announced that in September those of us who are especially vulnerable to the virus will be offered what amounts to a third booster shot that is also supposed to be hardened against the BA.5 variant. I'm sure that Pickles of the North and I will get ours as soon as we can.

Pickles of the North talked about the fact that the City of New York is no longer posting current COVID-19 infection rates.

By the time this program airs on Saturday morning all of those figures we quoted will be higher of course. This was all mostly preventable.

ss_dhs_conspiracy (160K)
They're Destroying Evidence

The January 6th, Committee hearings are on Summer hiatus, but we've already heard from them that they've discovered that the Secret Service deleted their messages so no one could see what they were saying on January 5th, and 6th, 2021. Now we hear that messages sent by Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli were scrubbed in a phone reset that went ahead in the weeks after the attack despite the obvious need to preserve records related to the attack, the Washington Post reported Friday.

It looks like the reputations of both of those agencies are in the crapper now. Trump has possibly damaged the Secret Service beyond repair. Maybe for the Secret Service agents that were around him it was a case of a Stockholm syndrome kind of thing. For the Department of Homeland Security I suppose it was just a case of Trump installing corrupt cronies in the first place.

We're also finding out that the lawyers helping Trump with his attempt to try to steal the 2020, election after Biden had won it were themselves referring to the slates they wanted to substitute as fake electors. Wow! So it wasn't a case of these people all being true Trump believers and that they had been drinking his Kool-Aid. They knew that they were trying to stage a coup! This is so corrupt, so cynical. Trump, those lawyers who were forging documents and everyone else who tried to destroy the democracy of this country by doing things like putting fake electors in place of the actually elected ones should go to prison, for a long time.

In an amusing bit of information from the January 6th, Committee the members have shown that Josh Hawley character giving a raised fist endorsement to the insurrectionists outside the Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021. That photograph's been around for a year and a half. What the committee released to the public was the aftermath of that. A video shows Senator Hawley running from the same insurrectionists once they got inside the Capitol Building. Some folks have made a comical video of this hypocritical behavior. And the Missouri Democratic Party has organized what they call a digital 5K run that they're calling Hawlin' Hawley. The event runs from July 25, to July 31. The Missouri Democrats have stated that the funds raised by this occasion will assist the Missouri Democratic State Committee's federal account.

Larry Josephson died at the age of 83, this past Wednesday. His daughter writes, Larry had been suffering from the effects of Parkinson's disease, and was increasingly a prisoner in his own body. He was good at radio. He was not always a nice guy.

the Antonivskyi Bridge across the Dnieper River
The Antonivskyi Bridge

The Russian war of aggression against the Ukrainian people continues. This past week the Ukrainians were able to damage the Antonivskyi Bridge across the Dnieper River by bombarding it with some of those rockets the United States has sent them that are a part of the HIMARS system. Close up video of the bridge shows a lot of holes along the roadbed. This is slowing down the Russian efforts to keep the occupying troops supplied. The Ukrainians are hopeful that by disrupting the Russian army's supply lines that they might be able to mount an offensive that could liberate the city of Kherson, or what the Russians have left of it.

It looks like the Russians, or their proxies, bombed a Prisoner of War camp the other day, killing 53 Ukrainian POWs and wounding another 75. The Russians claim the Ukrainians did it, but the actions and the claims sound like the usual Russian propaganda that we've heard from them for a long time. The Russians have been posting their propaganda for so many decades that a pattern has emerged of how they tell their lies. After a while the Russians just can't avoid trotting out the well known patterns of their propaganda. In any event, this POW camp was located in the actual war zone, the part occupied by the Russian proxies. That alone is a violation of the Geneva Convention which requires that POWs be evacuated to a non-combat area to the rear of the war zone.

The International Space Station as seen on November 8, 2021.
Doomed, Yes, But When?

Russia announced that it's pulling out of the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024. This complicates a number of things. It is, after all, an international space station. Since people started staying there in the year 2000, half of the ISS has been run by Russia and the other half by Canada, Japan, Europe and the United States. Russia did contribute a lot to the building of the space station and they may try to just take those parts that they figure are theirs alone and either de-orbit them or put them in a slightly different orbit so that they could maybe use them on a future, Russian-only space station that they might build.

This is all complicated by various countries having worked on various parts of the space station. There is also the fact that a main compartment of the space station was bought by the United States many years ago. Significantly, the module that houses the engines that keep the ISS in orbit are owned by Russia.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, which made the announcement was vague about a number of issues regarding the ISS.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had been saying that it would like to keep the ISS going until about the year 2030. Former President, and unindicted traitor, Donald Trump planned to cut funding to the station by 2024. In December 2021, President Biden agreed with NASA to keep it in orbit into 2030.

Of course all of this is political. Russia invaded Ukraine in February, and was not only met with much greater military resistance by the Ukrainians than Russian dictator Vladimir Putin had expected but the invasion also got a lot of countries to start sanctioning Russia. This is clearly one of Putin's ways of hitting back.

Russia had staged a propaganda photograph of cosmonauts posing with a flag of the phony Luhansk People's Republic which in reality is a part of Ukraine that's occupied by Russian forces. NASA criticized this blatant politicization of the space station.

So no one knows if the Russians could even follow through on their claim to be planning to launch their own Russian-only space station in the near future. If they do launch such a thing I suspect that it will really be a military base. They might have some facade of people doing experiments, but they'll really be military people maintaining weapons and targeting them. There is an agreement called the Outer Space Treaty that says, States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner. I seriously doubt that the Russians would observe that prohibition any more than they have the many more prohibitions regarding invasion of another country for the purpose of taking it over. I think that it's notable that decades ago, before the Soviet Union had stolen enough information to figure out how to build their own unmanned spy satellites they sent up a capsule with cosmonauts aboard with film cameras to take pictures. That spacecraft had a unique feature, a 37 mm cannon to shoot down any American capsules or other spacecraft that they might feel the need to destroy. Yeah, things are crazy now, but they might get a lot crazier in the not so distant future.

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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