Back of the Book — April 15, 2023,

It's Monday, April 17, 2023, 19:24, and I've updated this Web page with the link to the archives and with the small note about Al Jaffee. I had quite a hard time finding something graphical related to Jaffee that was in the public domain. I plan to update this Web page a little more and then it'll be done. The original top of this page follows the arrow. We were preempted for a fund raiser last week, but when we came back this week we had a lot to talk about because it's been quite the fortnight. Crazy, right-wing judges are trying to substitute their religious biases for science in order to deny women the right to their own bodies. We found out that right-wing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been hiding what sure do sound like favors that he and his wife have received for years and years that need to be reported, as all other judges must report them. Unless, of course he thinks of them as bribes from that right-wing money-bags guy. And there's more than we talked about but which we're not going to get to put on this Web page till later on. So check back to see the updates to this Web page.

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 LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday May 10, 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 44 previous public meetings were because of the pandemic.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, April 12.

It wasn't that bad a meeting. Another brand new member, who had replaced one more member who'd resigned, showed up after having not done so for several meetings. The routine item of excusing absences was again made to take longer than necessary by another new member who is now apparently going to make a big deal about excusing absences at every meeting. The LSB voted to create a Management Evaluation Committee; nominations were held and voting for the candidates is underway. The Community Advisory Board made a report at his meeting and apparently its members said that producers should not be able to boycott listeners when they call in. It sounds like they want to be able to call into a program nod talk to their heart's content and the producer would be obligated to let them do as they please. Crazy stuff. Another request from those Community Advisory Board members was that WBAI should tell everyone how to have a show on WBAI with a detailed point by point explanation of the process. Yeah, some of them really want to get on the air. 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. 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?


A Federal Judge named Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, ruled in Amarillo, Texas that the medical abortion drug Mifepristone did not properly have FDA approval. This was after some right-wing Christian anti-abortion group had brought their suit to him. Meanwhile a judge in Washington State ruled that the FDA approval was proper and intact.

So the Texas judge's ruling went to the right-wing Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled 2-1 that a ban on dispensing Mifepristone by mail can go into effect immediately and it also narrowed the time during pregnancy that Mifepristone can be prescribed from 10 weeks down to seven weeks. At seven weeks some pregnant women don't even know that they're pregnant yet. The Biden Administration is appealing all of this.

And then, just before we started recording this program, far right-wing anti-abortion Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued a ruling delaying the bans on sending Mifepristone through the mail and prescribing it to women after seven weeks of pregnancy, which would otherwise have gone into effect overnight nationwide, including in New York. So this is going to go to the Supreme Court which is still dominated by the six right-wing justices who overturned Roe v. Wade last year.

Mifepristone has been used in the United States for more than 20 years and in that time millions of women have used it. Research has shown that Mifepristone is safer than Tylenol and Viagra. We don't see the right-wing trying this tactic on those drugs. I think that this is all a part of the Civil War tat is going on it America right now.

Clarence Thomas on ethics

Speaking of right-wing Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas is being revealed as quite the hypocrite. He has been taking what sure look to me like bribes from this right-wing billionaire Harlan Crow for decades. He and his wife get free vacations to places all over the world, with no expense to them. And now it turned out this Harlan Crow character bought Clarence Thomas' boyhood home and some nearby patches of dirt, for about $133,000 in 2014. Clarence Thomas has not declared any of this on the forms he has to fill out each years as a judge showing what gifts e's been given. He says that some unnamed person told him that he didn't have to because he's pals with this Crow character. What a tremendous legal mind that is! This guy needs to be removed from the bench as any other judge would be, and he probably need to go to prison for taking bribes, too.

SARS-CoV-2 virus
1,327 Dead This Past Week

The CDC Web site says that Maps, charts, and data provided by CDC, updates Mon-Fri by 8 pm ET. So these figures are not as up to date as the John-Hopkins data used to be. It's what we have though.

The CDC Web site says that in America the number of reported cases as of Thursday night at 8 PM (ET) was 104,348,746 and the death toll in America was 1,128,404. The CDC is saying that the death toll was 1,327 for this past week, and that rate is coming down, but there are still a lot of people dying of this virus more than three years after it came on the global scene.

The pandemic is not over. Pickles of the North and I are still keeping our masks on. We've both gotten our bivalent vaccinations. We are not among those who are saying that getting a COVID-19 infection is like getting a cold.

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.

We're seeing a news item that Florida's Surgeon General, Joseph Ladapo, announced in October that adult males, ages 18 to 39, should not get COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, because of an abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death among men in this age group. This announcement went against advice that had been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it was called deeply flawed by several health experts - including by people at the University of Florida where this Ladapo guy works as a professor! Florida's own analysis showed that catching COVID-19 could increase the risk of a cardiac-related death much more than getting a vaccine, but the Florida Surgeon General removed that from the final version published by the state's Health Department. Surgeon General Ladapo had also written that hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that was pushed by some right-wing idiots early in the pandemic, is more positive than many in the medical community admit. Yeah, that's Florida, all right.

Al Jaffee's autograph
Al Jaffee's autograph

One of the Usual Gang of Idiots has left the realm of the living. Mad magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee, who worked at Mad magazine for half a century died this past Monday at the age of 102. He invented the Mad fold-outs where you got one message on the page and if you folded it along the indicated lines it gave you quite another message. I used to try to figure out the fold-outs he did without actually folding the magazine and putting creases in the magazine. Jaffee also did the Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions series in the magazine, which even became a book. He had a very long life and he made a lot of people laugh, which is all good stuff.

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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