The John Batchelor Show

Friday 15 September 2017

Air Date: 
September 15, 2017

Natural-color portrait that was first to show Saturn, its moons and rings, plus Earth, Venus and Mars.  Sweeps nearly 405,000 miles across Saturn and its inner rings — Jet Propulsion Lab 
      NASA has released a natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible.
     The new panoramic mosaic of the majestic Saturn system taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which shows the view as it would be seen by human eyes, was unveiled at the Newseum in Washington on Tuesday.*   [Text below, at end of schedule]     
Hour One
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 1, Block A: Liz Peek, Fiscal Times, Fox News; in re: Pres Trump as a bipartisan operator. His successes. GOP conniptions. Democrats’s and the left’s hope that the collaboration will shed the loyalty of his voters — but they hold fast, just smile. 
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 1, Block B:  Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, and Claudia Rosett, Independent Women’s Forum and PJ Media; in re:  George Clooney.  Also, why has the former US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, been investigated  by the House Intell Committee concerning her hundreds of requests for unmaskings? Unique behavior on her part, as apparently no previous US ambassador has made more than a handful of such requests.  Needless to say, she has a lawyer: as it turns out, a fellow who was her employee at the UN.
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 1, Block C: Henry Nau,  George Washington University and author, Conservative Internationalism;  and National Review Online, in re:  What constitutes Pres Trump’s view of America First/nationalism?  Start with evaluating our interests, check where we are and what are the interests of other nations, and see how to proceed.
Note however: Ukraine, and the Baltics and Poland.  He’s well managed relations with Japan and South Korea. Needs to work behind the scenes with China to be sure DPRK doesn’t invade the south; this will lead to a stalemate, whence perhaps we can eventually solve this.
NATO: When has the US ever counted on NATO to patrol frontiers?
Angela Merkel acknowledged that Germany has been a free-rider in NATO; now is creeping its defense expenditures up from 1.3% to 2% [which is requisite to be a NATO member, but few countries have bothered to pay. 
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 1, Block D: Henry Nau, George Washington University and author, Conservative Internationalism; and National Review Online, in re:  Kurds; Deir az Zour.  Trump may have found a sensible median between Bush’s aggression in the Middle East and Obama’s amazing passivity. At least we’ve taken back the territory ISIS held.   Syria has turned into one of the worst human tragedies of he post-Cold War era — 11 million homeless. No clean solution there. Afghanistan: we’re not doing well; Taliban control 45% of the country. The April tunnel-buster signals we’re there for a while.   Maybe we can keep Taliban a little off-balance.  Messy. Trump’s moving close to Abe as his first deed was brilliant.  He also immed got together w Chinese and raised the stakes: it's not just Korea but the global economy. What’ll really get their attention is to strengthen South Korea’s defense and esp to trilateralize relations by bring Japan into that.   Trump is an internationalist in [his own way]: deal with countries whose interests overlap with ours.
Hour Two
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 2, Block A:  Michael Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re:  What would things have looked like if the US hadn’t gone to war for Europe in  WWI or WWII?    Germans never got over the fact that the Lusitania was actually carrying munitions for Britain.  Posters showing German soldiers as apes.  This morning after the umpteenth London bombing, Trump tweeted a comment; Theresa May responded with disdain. Where would Britain be without the blood of many hundreds of thousands of American boys?
Britain accorded primacy to the US, which sealed the relationship. As a metaphor, if the US had extended a sense of kinship to the Russians after WWIII, or even better, after he collapse of he Soviet Union, we'd have an indissoluble bond today with Russia.
In the winter of 1863, Russia sent a fleet to New York to prevent Europeans from thinking of siding with the South.  They also spent dozens of millions to have the US buy Alaska for a tiny sum. Odd Arne Westad, professor at Harvard.
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 2, Block B:  Michael Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: An alliance between US and Russia did not occur in 1918 nor in 1992.   Why is it that we’re closer to Europe than to Russia? One reason is that the NATO alliance was a highly mature extended kinship: we’d survive and triumph together or fail together. Europe made a pact with the US that was a classic tipping point.   Also, our [myth] of ourselves, born of our purity compared to the Nazis, demanded a replacement, which we found in the USSR.  We said to the Russians, If you reform yourselves, we’ll give you tough love. Error!  Then Pres Clinton began a thoughtless and shameful campaign against Russia of expanding NATO right to its border.    If the dominant power creates trust with another nation, a bond is created, Unfortunately, we did that with China, not Russia. 
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 2, Block C:  Max Holland, University Press of Kansas and Politico, and author, Leaked, in re:  Watergate! L Patrick Gray, acting director of FBI; Sandy Smith of Time, and Mark Felt, a toxic manager in the FBI. Felt used Smith to convey a lie to Pat Smith because Felt wanted Gray’s job.   Mark Felt is backstabbing his boss because he wants a promotion.  We know Felt as Deep Throat; inside the FBI, his moniker was the White Rat. A real cold fish and martinet. Ran the internal policing dept inside the FBI, latched on to the tiniest-possible peccadillo to damage agents.  John Dean, WH counsel.  Gray had to travel around to FBI offices for several days each week; the White Rat called him “two-day Gray.”
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 2, Block D: Max Holland, University Press of Kansas and Politico, and author, Leaked, in re:  Watergate.  Why did Felt talk to Woodward, a cub Metro reporter, about the Nixon break-in? Because if Felt had snitched lies to a better-known reporter, Gray might have figured out who was leaking.  Before Gray referred to John Dean in hearings on his own confirmation as FBI director, no one had ever heard or thought a whit about John Dean.
Why are Woodward and Bernstein still protecting Mark Felt?  Not known.  The “world’s best investigative reporter” evinces no interest in the accurate story of what happened. Unwholesome. 
Hour Three
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 3, Block A: Robert Zimmerman, BehindtheBlack,com, and author, Capitalism in Space, and Universe in a Mirror;  in re:  Space hype versus reality. County Judge: SpaceX to launch rockets from Boca Chica in late 2018.  Blue Origin enlarges New Glenn’s payload fairing, preparing to debut upgraded New Shepard.   Virgin Orbit still expects to fly twice a month in 2020 despite delayed test campaign: everything Branson says is a lie.    Rocketry in south Texas.  . . . SpaceX.
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 3, Block B:  Robert Zimmerman, BehindtheBlack,com, and author, Capitalism in Space, and Universe in a Mirror;  in re: Formation of solar systems? We simply don't really know; at present, a bunch of facts but not much clarity.   Large gas giant releases hardly no light.  Chandrayan Lunar Orbiter.  Trace water?
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 3, Block C:  Jeff Bliss, Pacific Watch, in re: California est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt LAae; the two others are Northern and Southern (including Orange Country and northward, but not LA).  . . .   Empathy tests.   Bannon. Coulter and Iannopoulos speaking at Berkeley Free Speech Week.  Profs threaten to close it down Free what??  Hot dog vendor brutalized by the police; why?  He didn't have the correct license at a football game.   And then the UC Berkeley campus cops stole money from his pocket.  All on camera.  He lost sixty bucks to the heat; fundraising gave him $10K.   Reid Hoffman, honcho at LinkedIn, feeds money to pols. Apple’s $1K iPhone: all the little perks. 
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 3, Block D:  Jeff Bliss, Pacific Watch, in re: Self-driving trucks. Candidate, current Atty General. now bound up in the Debbie Wasserman Schultz scandal; from California to Washington to Islamabad. The shaky dam: Whittier Narrows Dam, 60 yrs old, east of LA, has tributaries flowing in to it; Army Corps of Engineers is alarmed. Also old highways, aqueducts.  Burning Man in the desert annually for a week-log party.  Costumes, light shows, drugs.   Attendees left between 20,000 and 70,000 bicycles there for others to clean up.  Hepatitis plague.  Sending homeless to San Diego, to major open parks and beach areas. 
Hour Four
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 4, Block A: Nick Bunker, An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 4, Block B: Nick Bunker, An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 4, Block C: Daniel R. Green, In the Warlords' Shadow: Special Operations Forces, the Afghans, and Their Fight Against the Taliban
Friday 15 September 2017 / Hour 4, Block D:  Daniel R. Green, In the Warlords' Shadow: Special Operations Forces, the Afghans, and Their Fight Against the Taliban
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* Cassini's imaging team processed 141 wide-angle images to create the panorama. The image sweeps 404,880 miles (651,591 kilometers) across Saturn and its inner ring system, including all of Saturn's rings out to the E ring, which is Saturn's second outermost ring. For perspective, the distance between Earth and our moon would fit comfortably inside the span of the E ring. 
"In this one magnificent view, Cassini has delivered to us a universe of marvels," said Carolyn Porco, Cassini's imaging team lead at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. "And it did so on a day people all over the world, in unison, smiled in celebration at the sheer joy of being alive on a pale blue dot." 
      The mosaic is part of Cassini's "Wave at Saturn" campaign, where on July 19, people for the first time had advance notice a spacecraft was taking their picture from planetary distances. NASA invited the public to celebrate by finding Saturn in their part of the sky, waving at the ringed planet and sharing pictures over the Internet. 
     An annotated version of the Saturn system mosaic labels points of interest. Earth is a bright blue dot to the lower right of Saturn. Venus is a bright dot to Saturn's upper left. Mars also appears, as a faint red dot, above and to the left of Venus. Seven Saturnian moons are visible, including Enceladus on the left side of the image. Zooming into the image reveals the moon and the icy plume emanating from its south pole, supplying fine, powder-sized icy particles that make up the E ring. 
     The E ring shines like a halo around Saturn and the inner rings. Because it is so tenuous, it is best seen with light shining from behind it, when the tiny particles are outlined with light because of the phenomenon of diffraction. Scientists who focus on Saturn's rings look for patterns in optical bonanzas like these. They use computers to increase dramatically the contrast of the images and change the color balance, for example, to see evidence for material tracing out the full orbits of the tiny moons Anthe and Methone for the first time.  
      "This mosaic provides a remarkable amount of high-quality data on Saturn's diffuse rings, revealing all sorts of intriguing structures we are currently trying to understand," said Matt Hedman, a Cassini participating scientist at the University of Idaho in Moscow. "The E ring in particular shows patterns that likely reflect disturbances from such diverse sources as sunlight and Enceladus' gravity." 
      Cassini does not attempt many images of Earth because the sun is so close to our planet that an unobstructed view would damage the spacecraft's sensitive detectors. Cassini team members looked for an opportunity when the sun would slip behind Saturn from Cassini's point of view. A good opportunity came on July 19, when Cassini was able to capture a picture of Earth and its moon, and this multi-image, backlit panorama of the Saturn system. 
      "With a long, intricate dance around the Saturn system, Cassini aims to study the Saturn system from as many angles as possible," said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Beyond showing us the beauty of the Ringed Planet, data like these also improve our understanding of the history of the faint rings around Saturn and the way disks around planets form -- clues to how our own solar system formed around the sun." 
     Launched in 1997, Cassini has explored the Saturn system for more than nine years. NASA plans to continue the mission through 2017, with the anticipation of many more images of Saturn, its rings and moons, as well as other scientific data. 
      The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. 
    To view the image,    A new version of the collage of photos shared by the public, with the Saturn system as backdrop, is available at: