The John Batchelor Show

Friday 1 November 2013

Air Date: 
November 01, 2013

Photo, above: Andrew W. Marshall (born September 13, 1921) is the director of the United States Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment. Appointed to the position in 1973 by United States President Richard Nixon, Marshall has been re-appointed by every president that followed. Thumbnail:  Marshall is one of the luminary thinkers of the modern United States.  His work at the Pentagon has generated ideas, development, expanded thinking orders of magnitude beyond even trained, advanced academic research.  Over-the-horizon analysis and planning that have saved the republic from disaster and, if it's allowed to continue, will do so again and again.

"In an interview in 2012 the main author of four of the Chinese defence white papers General Chen Zhou stated that Marshall was one of the most important and influential figures in changing Chinese defence thinking in the 1990s and 2000s. Foreign Policy named Marshall one of its 2012 Top 100 Global Thinkers, 'for thinking way, way outside the Pentagon box'."

When President Obama called on the U.S. military to shift its focus to Asia earlier this year, Andrew Marshall, a 91-year-old futurist, had a vision of what to do.

Marshall’s small office in the Pentagon has spent the past two decades planning for a war against an angry, aggressive and heavily armed China. No one had any idea how the war would start.  But the American response, laid out in a concept that one of Marshall’s longtime proteges dubbed “Air-Sea Battle,” was clear.  Stealthy American bombers and submarines would knock out China’s long-range surveillance radar and precision missile systems located deep inside the country. The initial “blinding campaign” would be followed by a larger air and naval assault.

The concept, the details of which are classified, has angered the Chinese military and has been pilloried by some Army and Marine Corps officers as excessively expensive. Some Asia analysts worry that conventional strikes aimed at China could spark a nuclear war.

Note that ONA costs about $10 million a year, which is financially insignificant, almost invisible Few believe Pres Obama's assertion that closing ONA is merely a cost-saving move. See Hour 4, Block B,  Josh Rogin, The Daily Beast, on Hagel Set to Scuttle Internal Think Tank  


Hour One

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Gregory Copley, author, in re: President Aliyev receives participants of Baku Int’l Humanitarian Forum  Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received former Bulgarian leader Georgi Parvanov on October 31, Azertag state news agency reported.  The Head of State hailed the participation of the former Bulgarian president in the Third Baku International Humanitarian Forum as important.  President Aliyev stressed that interest in the annual forum in on the rise. The Head of State expressed hope that . . . (1 of 2)

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Gregory Copley, author, in re: President Aliyev receives participants of Baku Int’l Humanitarian Forum (2 of 2)

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Mark Rosen, Hoover, in re: Arctic Security Initiative: Addressing the Gaps in Arctic Governance by Mark E. Rosen and Patricio Asfura-Heim

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Claire Suddath, Bloomberg, in re: The Chive's Smut with a Smile. The guy applying to be an intern is locked in the conference room. “Leave him in there for a while. I want him to sweat,” says John Resig, 35, co-founder and president of the Chive, a website based in Austin, Tex. Resig doesn’t mean he wants the guy to be nervous—that’s already been accomplished—he means he literally wants the kid to sweat through his shirt. “I want a big sweat mark right here,” Resig says, gesturing to his belly.

When the Chive posts an internship opening, more than 2,500 people usually apply. To thin the résumé pile, and because he finds it funny, Resig resorts to mild hazing. He wants to know how far he can push people. But the kid just refuses to sweat. Word around the office is that he’s bro-lit author Tucker Max’s assistant, and he came to the Chive because he thought a wildly popular website built on pinup-style self-portraits submitted by women and blog posts on subjects such as “Kids, they’re like dogs that can sorta talk” and “Soooo … you got wasted” would be a fun place to work. It’s a crowdsourced, Internet version of . . .

Hour Two

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  Michael Vlahos, Naval War College, in re: Battle of the Teutoburg Forest  (Schlacht im Teutoburger Wald) Everyone loves war stories from history, because let’s face it, we . . . The first fallacy is our unconscious enshrining of “decisive battle” — not as in, “I won big” — but like, “I won history and changed the fate of nations, and the course of civilization, to boot”  . . . There are actually a very few battles that meet this test: Hülegü’s sack of Baghdad in 1258 comes to mind. But the proliferation of   . . .

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Michael Vlahos, Naval War College, in re: Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water . . .

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law, in re: JP Morgan Chase had a bad week dueling with the federal government. First, it got slapped with a $5.1 billion settlement for its mortgage dealings with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; then, it got wrapped into an unfair criminal investigation involving Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. These attacks will cost the bank around $25 billion, a sum that places a substantial dent even in the bank’s hefty capital structure. The reputational and business losses could amount to far more. The adverse consequences could wreak havoc on thousands of employees, customers, and shareholders . . . (1 of 2)

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: :  Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law (2 of 2)

Hour Three

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Francis Rose, Federal News Radio, in re: Rogers sees Obamacare site as security risk
Politico.  Mike Rogers on Sunday decried the state of cyber security of the new Obamacare website, warning the private information of applicants is at . . .

Senators question security, privacy of ACA website

ACA site security concerns raised in memo

VanRoekel said — even with all its warts — is an example of the government's boldness.   "We should all be proud of the fact that something this complex, this integrated to legacy systems — and there are mainframes out there that this thing hooks to — was done at Internet scale and take online in this way," he said. "Just the fact that we have transactions moving between agencies using open data, using modular development, using technology in a way that moves from a 19th and 20th century government paper approach to an online approach is something we all should be proud of in the federal IT community. And thinking about that boldness is key to where we go forward."

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  David Weidner, WSJ Marketplace, in re: It slices, it dices, and if Wall Street is to be believed it will make you rich in 140 characters or less.

That’s basically the pitch around the highly anticipated Twitter Inc. TWTR 0.00%  initial public offering. Never mind that there’s already significant overvaluation risk in the $11.1 billion estimated market value inherent in Twitter’s expected pricing range ($17 to $20 a share). This is a company that is losing money at an accelerating rate — a $64.2 million loss in the quarter just ended and a $42.2 million loss in the previous quarter.

Step right up.  . . .

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  Jeff Himmelman, NYT, in re: A Game of Shark and Minnow In a remote corner of the South China Sea, 105 nautical miles from the Philippines,

lies a submerged reef the Filipinos call Ayungin.  . . . [geopolitics of fending off Chinese invasion:] On the deck of the Sierra Madre, with morning sun slanting off the bright blue water and the crowing of a rooster for a soundtrack, Staff Sgt. Joey Loresto and Sgt. Roy Yanto were improvising. Yanto, a soft-spoken 31-year-old, had lost an arrow spearfishing on the shoal the day before. Now he had pulled the handle off an old bucket and was banging it straight with a rusty mallet in an attempt to make it into a spear. Everything on the Sierra Madre was this way — improvised, repurposed. “Others came prepared,” Loresto said of previous detachments that had been briefed about life on the boat before they arrived and knew they would need to fish to supplement their diet. “But we were not prepared.” . . .  (1 of 2)

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Jeff Himmelman, NYT, in re: A Game of Shark and Minnow (2  of 2)

Hour Four

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Sarah Frier, Bloomberg, in re: Facebook to Limit News Feed Ads as Younger Teens Using Site Less – The world’s most popular social-networking service gave up most of its 18 percent stock increase in extended trading after Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman said on a conference call yesterday that news feed promotions won’t rise significantly.  The Office of Net Assessment

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Josh Rogin, The Daily Beast, in re: Hagel Set to Scuttle Internal Think Tank  by Josh RoginEli Lake Most Pentagon budget fights are about things like tanks and fighter jets. But plans to eliminate a small think tank at the Pentagon is attracting stiff opposition from Congress and the national security elite.  . . .

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Ted Genoways, Bloomberg Businessweek, in re: The Tequila Curse. The production of blue agave, the key ingredient in tequila, has tripled in the past decade through new growing, production, and distillation methods. This has fueled the rapid expansion of the tequila business—sales in North America alone have reached $1.6 billion annually, nearly tripling since 1995. But these methods have left Mexico’s State of Jalisco vulnerable to ecological collapse and a lower quality tequila.   After decades of focusing exclusively on increased foreign sales, tequila producers now have to ask if they are sowing the seeds of disaster.

Friday  1 November 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Sheelah Kolhatkar, Bloomberg Businessweek,  in re: WALL STREET'S GUILT MOMENTUM  Securities and Exchange  Commission Chair Mary Jo White has warned banks they can no longer just pay  a fine to settle SEC cases--they’ll also have to admit wrongdoing.

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Hour 1: The World Is Not Enough, Game of Thrones

Hour 2: Gears of War 2, Downton Abbey 

Hour 3: Rush

Hour 4: Babylon AD