The John Batchelor Show

Friday 2 October 2020

Air Date: 
October 02, 2020

Hour One
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 1, Block A:  Dan Henninger, @DanHenninger , WSJ editorial board, in re:  The departure of the elegant and generous George Melloan at the age of 92. 
       Pres Trump’s testing positive for the virus.  The noisy debate.  Biden’s team identified a flaw in Trump: he can't take criticism at any time.  More than 90% of voters have made up their mind.
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 1, Block B: Jeff Bliss, #PacificWatch , Pacific Watch , in re: The August Complex fire, being a collection of other fires; burning a million acres and only 6% controlled.   Multiple other fires; caused by California’s utter failure to provide forest management, requiring controlled burns. Ergo, much of California is a tinderbox. 
      Remote areas of the state are obliged to be under the same restrictions as the densely-populated urban areas; people in Shasta County, in the north, are in revolt.
      Homeless population in LA is probably around 100,000.   State legislature is looking at paying reparations.   Incidentally, there’s never been slavery in California, which outlawed slavery a year before it became a state; is much about Gavin Newsom’s intention to run for president.  See book: Long Time California.   
       Disney to lay off 28,000 at its parks in California, Florida -- Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida. Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers but they ranged from salaried employees to nonunion hourly workers, Disney officials said.  Associated Press
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 1, Block C:  Gene Marks,  @genemarks @Guardian  #SmallBusinessAmerica @Guardian, and at TheHill; in re:  Follow the Chemical Activity Barometer, a monthly index from American Chemistry Council (an industry group) survey’s members: How’s business? Profits? Backlogs? Orders? They publish a great chart; goes back to 1946.     Another index: how many people who’ve lost part-time jobs. Numbers have declined to those obtaining around 2015, 2016.   Another chart: TSA checkpoint. Daily number of travellers in airports.
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 1, Block D:  Gene Marks, @genemarks @Guardian  #SmallBusinessAmerica @Guardian, and at TheHill; in re:  Online sales have increased 40% in the last year.  Amazon’s Prime Day; it has over a million small merchants; ferocious competition.
Hour Two
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 2, Block A:  Michael E Vlahos, @JHUWorldCrisis , Johns Hopkins, in re:   President Trump, in the recent debate and in now showing a physical weakness, may have stumbled, as the ancients thought.  Goths tattooed their skin with dark blue ink, made a pomade from bear grease, were disdained and treated ill by Romans. Alaric rose up and sacked Rome in 410 AD.  The blue hero draws his strength from his stainless reputation, and his heroic suffering.  This represents his legitimacy. His opponent is a hero of red, but flawed.  The fact that the disease has infected the president gives him a chance to rise again, and present new qualities, authenticity, a kind of sublime quality that comes with suffering and hardship. Recent example: Boris Johnson. This elevated him, and he handled it masterfully; he was in the valley of death for a brief but critical time; emerged showing all the graciousness of a hero.   
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 2, Block B:  Michael E Vlahos, @JHUWorldCrisis , Johns Hopkins, in re:   Teddy Roosevelt was shot just before giving a speech; spoke anyway for hours, then entered the hospital overnight before racing home.  Strength and positivity. Trump could do that; but: protracted and gloomy recovery could leave his party disheartened. Potential for people kind of collectively writing him off; or, a worse possible path could be that this entire drama becomes a way of unleashing greater hatreds in our civil conflict. Blue is already unable to contain its bile: “I hope he dies”!   . . .  A Pelosi threshold where the presidency passes temporarily to the Speaker.  Opposite of the fate of Alexander or Alaric, who died in ways that befit a Greek hero.  There are many vectors this saga can take. The scale of enmity of the past months . . .
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 2, Block C:  Chris Riegel, @Scala, @STRATACACHE;; in re: US economy is much more resilient because of its free-market approach, whereas Europe is burdened with excess workers.  Once you hire an employee and he finishes the prohibition period, it's very difficult and expensive to get rid of him. “The reallocation of labor. . . [occurs] at speed” in the US—The Economist. In the US, people can move to newer, more productive fields. Nations in Europe has built such a great cost of doing business that  . . . UK and Ireland are much more like the US.  . . .  Americans are better a shopping and putting money back into the economy, but the governments there take half the income, [which puts molasses in the system].  WeWork:  a huge display ad in Grand Central; trying to re-start and restructure; now is offering open spaces in small boutiques.  Well done.
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 2, Block D:  Henry Miller: @henryimiller, Pacific Research Institute, in re: Ways to reduce the probability of flu infection. Sedulous attention to the main protocols—wearing a mask; washing hands frequently; avoiding either close contact with other people or crowded places—helps a great deal.  Flu vaccine usually ranges from 30% to 50% effective.  This year, CDC is shooting for 65%. Americans have traditionally resisted wearing masks; in East Asia, most people wear a mask. 
Hour Three
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 3, Block A: Francis Rose, @FRoseDC,  Host of @GovMattersTV @ ABC7News & WJLA 24/7 News. Washington D.C., in re:  Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – the best medical care with excellent security. 
     The Arctic: Russia has a training base and many ice-breakers; China is building ice-breakers rapidly.  The US has one heavy ice-breaker on the South Pole; a medium, the Healy, hat’s not operational; that ‘s it. Russia has more than fifty.   He former commandant of the Coast Guard: was asked by NSC to authorize a FON sortie through the Arctic; he refused because “I’m afraid that if I ran that ship through there it’d break down and we’d have to ask the Russians to rescue us.” The 350-ship ambition has transformed into 500, with ”less exquisite” ships, manned and unmanned.  The supercarrier Gerald Ford has problems.  Better to have frigates and smaller craft?
     Where will we build these things; we don’t have the shipyards, and the defense budget is likely to stay flat or go down.
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 3, Block B:  Elin Suleymanov,  @ElinSuleymanov, @azembassyus, ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Washington;  and Professor Brenda Shaffer: @ProfBShaffer  @FDD; Georgetown; in re: Protests in Iran support Azerbaijan; the largest ethnic minority in  Iran is Azeris. The government has been supporting Armenia, as it fears the prosperous, open Azerbaijan.  . . . Armenians dropped 2,000 bombs on a small city. Out of 800,000 IDPs, 25,000 can now return home, as territory has been liberated.  This is a tragedy not only for Azerbaijanis, but also for Armenians. 
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 3, Block C:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Pinprick hole in capsule shows that it wasn’t sabotage; probably the result of twenty years in space.   . . . Next crew on a Dragon Capsule have named their capsule Resilience. 
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 3, Block D:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: A tragic episode of Star Trek . . . Parker Solar Probe, got within 8.4 million miles of the Sun, which is very close, at 300,000 mph.  Mars: largest canyon in the Solar System.  One of the cliffs drops 6,000 feet; another 22,000.
Hour Four
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 4, Block A: Veronique de Rugy, @veroderugy, Mercatus Center, in re: Export-Import Bank.  It's not needed, but continually returned by Congress. Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos; market cap of $105 billion; a center of Mexican corruption; but in big financial trouble right now)  asks to borrow — why would the US have to buy oil from Pemex?  Borrowing because Pemex is used to borrowing at very favorable rats of interest.  Pemex has been labelled a cancer.  Further, it damages the environment.  ExIm just extended a loan of $400 million. Former head was extradited in Spain to Mexico; is now in protective custody because he’s named a dozen highly-placed officials as deeply involved in the corruption. How can the US do this? As for worker safety, it's more dangerous to work at Pemex than to stand in the middle of an intersection in Mexico City.   What are the Republicans thinking? When Pemex competes on the global mkt with US firms, it has an edge given to it by the US government. Once thought that ExIm could be used to compete with China, with which I don't agree; but the battleground is not Mexico.  Gangs involved in Pemex. I’m stunned.  Moody’s and Finch downgraded Pemex to junk.  When you extend a deal to Pemex, effectively what's said is that if Pemex can’t repay, not only will Mexico be in trouble but it’ll drag Americans in with it. 
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 4, Block B:  Veronique de Rugy, @veroderugy, Mercatus Center, in re:  US debt.  Rising rapidly; will trigger a financial crisis. It's not that they aren’t managing the debt—it’s that they’re not managing the spending.  The tax cuts are a drop in the bucket compared to the spending.
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 4, Block C:  Patrick Tucker, Sci-Tech editor for @DefenseOne, @DefTechPat, in re: The military units around the world are testing the future.  Guam: the US is conducting tests reminiscent of filmdom’s Skynet; Guam is the launch point for any Asian conflict.  Experiment with Air Force to test Joint Alternate Means Command and Control: air, space, land, sea, cyber.  Intending to link everything together in an enormous net.  A big, connected swarm that much relies on artificial intelligence.  Expect to reach goal around 2030.
      Can Guam be defended?  This is all to show that it can.    Yuma Proving Grounds: in 105 degree heat. Air Force has a separate plan; eventually to link all together.  Expect to keep a human “in the loop.”
Friday 2 October  2020 / Hour 4, Block D:  Patrick Tucker, Sci-Tech editor for @DefenseOne, @DefTechPat, in re: A wearable that identifies when you’ll be ill within 48 hours.