This afternoon, after seeing a note on the Internet that a Maine shortwave station, WBCQ, was broadcasting on a new frequency, I thought I’d get out a box of cheap radios and give them a comparison workout on 7.490 MHz at 2330 UTC (5:30 PM US Eastern Time). The schedule said they would be airing a program called Financial Survival.
WBCQ calls itself “Free Speech Radio.” It’s not exactly free, though. It costs $50 to have them broadcast your one-hour audio file around the world. The Financial Survival program is from a company called “Discount Gold and Silver Trading.”
For the 30 minutes I was listening, most of my activity was tuning and logging with multiple radios. I got bits and pieces of the program that sounded like fringe Christian millennialist end of the world stuff. I guess you should buy gold as a hedge against the world going to hell.
What caught my ear though, were the words “Barry Soetoro,” which most of you will recognize as the birthers’ name for President Obama. According to the speaker, the government was going to break into all communications: radio, TV and Internet in a couple of days and take it all over. Fearing something I didn’t quite catch, the takeover was going to be limited to 30 seconds. The fellow said that President Soetoro had his finger on the “Internet kill switch” and when it came back up it would be “Internet 2”, consisting of government indoctrination 24-7. [There is a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) November 9.]
While I’m not worried about the President hitting the Internet kill switch, I am reminded of government control of the Internet in other places in the world and the fact that one way of obtaining uncensored news anonymously is through shortwave radio. It is ironic that a new generation of excellent low-cost receivers is coming out at the same time that international shortwave broadcasting is in decline.
If you’re interested in listening to more of the program I heard, check out the show archives, or the broadcast schedule on the same page. If you’re going to try shortwave, just note that the frequency 7.415 MHz has been replaced by 7.490.
I have> the Grundig M300 ultralight shortwave radio pictured above (mine is black). I was surfing Google images for a shortwave graphic and when I saw this one I said, like the hobbit Pippin in The Fellowship of the Ring who said, “It comes in pints?” [Update: subsequently, I got a pink one too.]
It comes in pink?