The John Batchelor Show

Friday 1 June 2018

Air Date: 
June 01, 2018

Screen shot:  The Alpino frigate, today in Manhattan at Pier 88.  An astonishing design, one that it’d be wise of the US Navy to look at closely.  See: Hour 2, Blocks C and D,  VADM Rick Hunt [ret], Strategy Director for the Fincantieri Design Group, on the capabilities of the Alpino.
Hour One
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 1, Block A: Jim  , Barron’s Washington, in re: The stupendous national economic reports.
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Jeff Bliss, Pacific Watch, in re:  Housing in California – gone bonkers. Homelessness: people moving out of LA, often to Orange County.  . . .  Las Vegas: everybody is celebrating an ice hockey team in he desert?  The Las Vegas Golden Knights have gone almost to the championship.  The whole town is swooning with joy.  
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: Mary Anastasia O’Grady, Wall Street Journal editorial board, in re: Venezuela: Maduro, a crude dictator who just won a soi-disant election. Suppressing middle class and poor despite privation and starvation; across the board absence of medicine. Three million have fled the country. Their departures diminish the number of those able to protest Maduro’s harsh oppression. Cubans are creating the architecture of the brutality; Maduro controls all the food.  Meanwhile, Venezuela sent $440 million worth of oil to Cuba – Venezuela has been conquered by Havana.  Reuters managed to get these data.  Recall that Chavez was notorious for destroying all the know-how in Venezuela’s oil sector, the experienced pro’s having been fired and replaced by pol ops.  Then out of money, so couldn’t replace broken parts. Total breakdown.  Pumping few Bbls per day, so is buying oil to send to Cuba. Also, Chavez borrowed a lot of money from China.  Paying back now is hard.
Sell-off of Argentine peso:  Macri inherited a real fiscal mess from Kichner? No – now the Fed has hiked rates, people got nervous, see that Macri has done naught with the fiscal deficit, leading to a run on the currency. He accepted $30 Bil in aid from the IMF. He needs to explain this to the populace.  If he can’t, hire someone to.  However, his success has been to bring a non-Peronist party to the presidential palace.
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 1, Block D: John Wood, CEO and founder of  US Wellness Meats, in Canton, Missouri; at:; in re:  Grass-fed beef.   . . . After WWII, a lot of leftover nitrite from the war; it was used as fertilizer, which doubled the corn yield;
Bovines have four-part stomach: first, fermentation with a pH of 7. When we fed cows grain instead of grass, we took the pH down to 3 or 4. By adding starch to the diet, we changed the  . . .
CLA, a relatively unstable compound (a photolipid) .  . . . The health-food store named the cow. 
Hour Two
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 2, Block A:  Michael Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: The Cambridge Five, among these: Donald McLean, chosen to be a Foreign Office prodigy who rose astoundingly swiftly. Turned out that he’d been a Soviet agent, a Utopian dreamer, since age 22.  End of England’s being a Master of the Universe.  Back to Russiagate today: we have the Blue states saying Trump is a stooge; the Red states saying that the Blue have lost touch with America and betrayed us to their globalist pals.  When a republic becomes an empire, a transformation not only of a society its polity levers of power but of how groups therein understand themselves and heir importance.  Empires are cosmopolitan Elites become the major beneficiaries of he entire imperial enterprise. Their consciousness migrates from within the national society into a sort of global connectedness. Also: as a nation shapeshifts into an empire, it initially feels an uplifting, which seems to pull everyone together (think; US immed after WWII). Britain felt this, as did the Spanish, and anciently, Rome.  The elites prosper and the general populace gets the short end of the stick. Elites’s entire focus is to maximize all the wonderful new rents issuing from the new empire, and arrogate them to themselves. Old political balances that had been worked out and obtained, become upended. The political and cultural equilibrium is lost. New divides emerge. 
Friday  1 June 218 / Hour 2, Block B:   Michael Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: It's said that the elites in Silicon Valley, and such, have a lot more in common with the elites of Paris and Beijing than with the “nationalists” who constitute the rest of us. The elites’s entire focus is rent-seeking; also the old guard  . .  . Their furtherance is rooted n the subservience of he people.  “The eternal inviolability of their rule.”  Embarrassing situation today where the voce f the people has shifted to red. Blue, with an intense tribal identification with Davos Man, have separated  themselves from Americans.  The elite is parasitical and antithetical to America as a whole.
In Britain in July 1945, the people had borne the huge sacrifice  of two world wars and voted out the elites, including Churchill. Here in the US, elites blame the representatives of the people; in this instance, Pres Trump.  Elites can't see the problem because they’d have to see themselves.
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 2, Block C:  VADM Rick Hunt [ret], Strategy Director for the Fincantieri Design Group; in re:  USN needs a frigate class; smaller than battleship or destroyer; is searching for such a one. I’ve just visited a modern, elegant warship, a frigate, in New York City just north of the Intrepid. My guide through the Alpino was Vice-Admiral Rick Hunt.  It looks like the future — really, reminiscent of the Starship Enterprise — designed by the Fincantieri Marine Group.
- A FREMM-class frigate made in Italy; you were on the ASW version.  . . . Frigates can operate independently and globally.
- Yes; and you and I are tall and I didn’t need to duck once.   Incidentally, the kitchen is impressive and even the espresso machine produced a delicious cup of coffee.  Surprisingly elegant furnishings.
- In the past, the US Navy had a high-low mix of ships . . .   The crew comfort; the way the mess is laid out, food distribution — all exceptional.  Also especially the berthing; US has up to 89 people in one space with shared [bathing] facilities.  Here. there are only four people in a stateroom sharing one head, with exceptional comfort.  Like business-class.
- I’ve now been on the bridge of the Alpino – I was flabbergasted at the scale, the openness, the size of the windows, the commodiousness, the comfort; a very, very unusual scale. 
- True: this gives [much greater] visibility.  In [a fight], we turn off the radar. Several days ago as we were sailing up the Chesapeake, a pilot came on board; he was astonished that a warship would be as automated and [well designed] as this.
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 2, Block D: VADM Rick Hunt [ret], Strategy Director for the Fincantieri Design Group; in re: On the bridge of this warship for the future,  . . .  bridge is extremely spacious where everyone can see everyone else around the room. How spacious this center is: intell, sonar, ASW, all in the same room, all with excellent forward and side visibility, 270 degrees. Every input right here, can see directly; makes it very adaptable. All the computer consoles are configurable in the way the captain wants.  Add US combat systems to this Italian design – Tomahawk strike missiles; plus other lethality capability  . . . state of the art.  All the computer consoles are configurable.. .
-  Damage control: extremely organized, firefighters are at the ready; can throw up a schematic of the ship and respond to chemical, nuclear, fire, everything. It struck me: looks like what Spock or  Scotty called up on the Enterprise
- I think the automation they have on the ship is absolutely exceptional: sensors all over the ship; firefighting agents all over the ship [89 locales].  The exact right firefighting systems. Over 90% of the ship is covered with a water mist system.  Trip the alarm system and it automatically lights up the cameras in that area and bingo! you can see what the problem is; it then offers a range of possibilities to solve it.  In the test I saw, in two minutes, the damage-control officer isolated the space and extinguished the fire. This is a lifesaver. Allows smaller crew size, better crew comfort – it all goes together in [intentional design]. 
- The aft of the ship, the flight deck:  a huge flight deck for the size of the ship—with a hook, so no crew need be out of doors —can put in two big helos, plus unmanned vehicles, and [other aircraft].  Unmanned flight deck. I love the Italian engineering in here. Our sailors deserve this kind of safety issues, and survivability.
This ship helps the US Navy against foes in Eurasia: brings tremendous capability to the war fight, operates across all domains; radar, electronic warfare, submarines capabilities second to none; the embarq? boats; has margins —it's flexible, meets all of today’s requirements – space, with power . . . that are designed to adapt to new weapons in the future, in directed energy, microwave, rail guns, and the like. [Looks as though the LCS are a disappointment –ed.] The crew received us most generously and I thank them.
- The scale of the bridge, of the command center, everything: Wow. 
Hour Three
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 3, Block A:  Gregory R Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs, in re: Churchill wanted to reinstitute UK colonialism; Roosevelt did not.  Now, the new colonialism is inobvious, not abt conquest, sometimes called “soft power,” but it’s not benign.  On a grand global scale, the Chinese.  Took advantage of the failure of the West in the post-Colonial era (1960 onward; Europe left Africa, and also within the last decade, when the US started to retract from Africa). All this left Africa wide open to economic and pol influence; also the southern Pacific.  About buying influence and imposing a suzerainty a control from afar.  Used to be called satrapies. China has mastered the art of buying into these countries, buying their trade, bldg infrastructure nominally to help but in fact to implant Chinese influence there.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran: all choosing not kinetic [influence]; or a mix of kinetic and nonkinetic, with the former less effective. All the superpowers are currently weak, not ready for [a hot war]; balance of weakness.  Looking to use proxy forces.  Chinese have been buying up a lot of commercial  . . . Also Iran—Houthis, Hezbollah; even have rather acquired Russians.  Russia has always wanted Iran , and Iran hates the Russians but need their alliance for the moment.   Iran supplying Houthis; and through the Lebanese Shi’a community, incl in West Africa and Venezuela. 
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 3, Block B:  Gregory R Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs, in re: Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. . . . Panama Canal was given away by Pres Carter, steered toward Chinese ownership – Hutchison Whampoa.  Panama abandoned Taiwan earlier this year – a profound consolidation of Chinese power in the region, where it now has a large intell organization; buys friends with oil.  China found it cheaper to buy its way into Panama.  Dominica has a ship registry based in the US which flags vessels. Get a Dominican-flagged tanker plying oil from Iran to China; ells Dominican passport =s to hundreds of Chinese and others of dubious character. China has a disproportionately huge embassy in Roseau. Promised but never delivered hospitals, etc.
Taiwan actually  invested a lot in Dominican infrastructure.  Roosevelt Skerrit PM a [horrid person –ed.].
South Pacific:  China has put in some foreign aid in nine states from 2006 to 2016 – abt $1 bil. Australia put in $7.7 bil in aid, but China has eclipsed Aussie influence – by commercial lending, and paying officials (some clearly illegally); individuals and govts now much indebted to China.  China hasn't ad competition; Trump Adm has started to push back in NE Asia, but will have to move swiftly to recover territories in the Pacific, South America, Caribbean. 
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 3, Block C:  Paul Myrow, geologist, Colorado College, in re:  Snowball Earth (1 of 2)
Paul Myrow Publishes Research on ‘Snowball Earth’ Hypothesis   Colorado College Professor of Geology Paul Myrow is the lead author on the article “Rapid Sea Level Rise in the Aftermath of a Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth,” published in the journal Science in early May. He co-authored the article with Ryan Ewing ’98, who was a CC geology student and is now an associate professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Texas A&M. A third researcher on the paper is Michael Lamb, professor at California Institute of Technology.
The team of researchers discovered geological evidence in Southern Australia supporting what is known as the Snowball Earth hypothesis, which concerns episodes in Earth history when the entire surface was encased in ice. The paper estimates the rate of sea level rise during rapid melting at the end of a Snowball Earth glaciation.
“There were two such events toward the end of the Precambrian Eon, in an interval between approximately 717 and 635 million years ago. These events profoundly altered Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere, and may have had a profound effect on the evolution of life, in part because the Earth shifted from an icehouse to an extreme greenhouse climate,” says Myrow.
The Snowball Earth era ended with cataclysmic melting of the ice sheets, which raised sea levels radically. Myrow says they calculate an estimated rate of sea level rise of about 28 centimeters a year, which is 100 times the present-day rate.
“One prediction of the Snowball Earth model is that the thick ice sheets that covered both oceans and land would have melted very quickly — a few thousand years — generating a vast amount of meltwater that would have been delivered to the ocean, raising sea level by more than 1,000 meters,” he says.
The team, which traveled to Australia's Adelaide Rift Complex and Stuart Shelf in 2014, used the size and shape of preserved ripples, created in the sand bed of the ancient oceans, to determine the oceanographic conditions, including approximate water depths. Not only was the rate of sea level rise 100 times greater than present-day rates, the proposed rate of sea level rise is also . . .
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 3, Block D:  Paul Myrow, geologist, Colorado College, in re:  Snowball Earth (2 of 2)
Hour Four
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 4, Block A: The Brazen Age: New York City and the American Empire: Politics, Art, and Bohemia, by David Reid
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 4, Block B: The Brazen Age: New York City and the American Empire: Politics, Art, and Bohemia, by David Reid
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 4, Block C: The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill, by Greg Mitchell.   Secret Nazi tunnels.
Friday  1 June 2018 / Hour 4, Block D:  The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill, by Greg Mitchell
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