The John Batchelor Show

Friday 26 April 2013

Air Date: 
April 26, 2013

Photo above:  Industrial farming, Almería Province, Spain – On the arid plains of southern Spain, produce is grown under the world’s largest array of greenhouses and trucked north. Greenhouses use water and nutrients efficiently and produce all year—tomatoes in winter, for instance. But globally the challenge is grain and meat, not tomatoes. It takes 38 percent of Earth’s ice-free surface to feed seven billion people today, and two billion more are expected by 2050. See: anthropocene, Hour 1 Block C.


Hour One

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Gordon Chang,, in re: Kyodo news dispatch:  The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced for the first time Friday that China regards the Senkaku Islands a "core interest." "The Diaoyu Islands are about sovereignty and territorial integrity. Of course, it's China's core interest," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press conference, using China's name for the Japanese-administered isles in the East China Sea. Taiwan claims the isles as the Tiaoyutai.  China usually uses "core interest" when addressing such hot-potato issues as Taiwan, Tibet and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.  Now, Beijing has clarified that it also pertains to the Senkakus. The statement suggests that China does not intend to make any concession on the islets, which it claims have been its inherent territory since ancient times.  Hua made the comment after Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told NHK in Tokyo that Chinese officials repeatedly told him during his visit to Beijing earlier in the week that the Senkakus are "one of China's core interests." Japan, which has administered the islands for decades, maintains the Senkakus are an integral part of its territory and that there is no territorial dispute over them.  [more]

Have to go back to the Mao era to find comparably aggressive Chinese behavior with intent to intimidate. China makes up to 300 incursions into Indian territory every year; this time, a platoon is camped kilometers inside the Indian side of the frontier, shows no intention of leaving, and must evince a much stronger response from India lest China mock New Delhi and move farther in.

China declares specifically Japanese territory to be a Chinese "core interest" – that is, the Chinese Communist Party's army, the PLA, is willing to go to war to take the islands.  See: Hour 1, Block A, Gordon Chang.    Photo, left: China’s President Hu Jintao claps as he arrives for the opening ceremony of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 3, 2011. Decoding China’s Core Interests  The 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which completed its term at Beijing on November 4, 2012, did not throw much light on any changes in nuances in the Chinese foreign policy that can be expected from the new party leadership headed by Mr. Xi Jinping . . .

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 "The Chinese view Dempsey as a supplicant, especially after Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Secretary of State John Kerry also traveled to Beijing in recent weeks.  The ruthlessly pragmatic leaders in the Chinese capital do not treat the weak very well."

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Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  Elizabeth Dwoskin, Bloomberg Businessweek, in re: Alabama Wooed Airbus as Executives Were Skeptical of Deep South ... In June 2011, Alabama Governor Robert ...

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Michael Balter, Science magazine, in re: Live Chat: Have We Entered the 'Age of Man'? (Video) - ScienceNOW  NewsApril 2013  ... that began with the last ice age 11,700 years ago) and the beginning of the Anthropocene, the "Age of Man."

Have humans had such a dramatic impact on the globe that we've created a new geological era? That's what some scientists think. They've proposed that the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century marked the end of the Holocene (a period that began with the last ice age 11,700 years ago) and the beginning of the Anthropocene, the "Age of Man." Not everyone agrees. In fact, some say the Anthropocene began 11,500 years ago and completely overlaps with the Holocene. And still others say the Anthropocene has yet to begin.  [more]

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Jack Healy, NYT, in re: Water Rights Tear at an Indian Reservation  The dispute at the Flathead Reservation centers on a proposed bill that would specify who is entitled to the water, and how much they can take from the reservoirs and ditches.

Hour Two

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  . Terry Anderson, Hoover, in re: Property Rights Are for Everyone Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), Montana

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:   Josh Green, Bloomberg Businessweek, in re:  Tom Steyer: The Wrath of a Green Billionaire - Businessweek

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Joel Stein, Bloomberg Businessweek, in re: THE GROWNUP: GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN   Three decades after his first turn in the statehouse, Governor Jerry Brown has managed to rein spending, raise taxes on the wealthy, and plug California's $27 billion deficit by scaring the crap out of people. Writer Joel Stein spent time with the governor and explains how his unsentimental, grown-up political leadership is the most effective method to solve the country’s biggest problems. Which is also why what Jerry Brown has achieved in California isn’t likely to happen anywhere else.   Read the full story… | 

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Max Holland, author, Leak, in re: Robert Redford’s new documentary, All the President's Men Revisited.    Los Angeles Times review ;   Washington Post review;   New York Times review;   Slate review

Hour Three

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Simon Constable, WSJ, in re:  It’s not great, but it’s still probably the best growth the American economy is going to see for a while.  Economic activity picked up in the first quarter of this year, with output expanding at an annualized pace of 2.5 percent, according to a Commerce Department report released on Friday. The number was a welcome improvement from the unusually sluggish growth at the end of 2012, but significant government spending cuts and the pinch from recent tax increases look likely to keep the economy in stall speed in the months ahead.  “We just have not been able to hit escape velocity, to get us growing fast enough to make up for the ground we lost during the recession,” said Steve Blitz, director and chief economist at ITG Investment Research. He forecasts growth around 2 to 2.5 percent for the rest of the year, which is slower than the economy’s long-term average. “Government spending is clearly a negative, but the reason why it’s such a strong negative is because there’s nothing else in the private sector really driving things forward.” [more]

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  . J M Berger, Foreign Policy, in re: Have you heard the one about the English-language jihadist magazine targeting Western Muslims?  No, not the Taliban's whimsically named In-Fight Magazine. And it's not Mujahedin Monthly, or Al Hussam, or Afghan Mirror, or Afghan Jihad. And not the half-in-English Al Qaeda Airlines or Gaidi Mtaani. (And yes, those are all real things.)  No, the only English-language jihadist magazine you've probably ever heard of is Inspire, and you're probably going to hear a lot more about it in the near future.  NBC News reported this morning that the surviving Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, told investigators that he and his elder brother, Tamerlan, learned to build their bomb by reading Inspire, which is published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  At this point, it doesn't really matter if NBC's report is accurate or if Tsarnaev's claim is true. Inspire has become the worst kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, in which our collective worries about terrorism magnified our enemies' reach.  [more]

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  Joel Rayburn, National Defense University, in re: Deadly anti-government violence grips Iraq; Thousands of Sunnis renew protests against prime minister's rule, as death toll passes 190 in four-day wave of violence

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Seb Gorka, FDD, in re: Blind Eye: Conciliatory FBI policies toward Islamism hampered probe into Boston bombers  The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s failure to recognize political Islam as a driver of jihadist terrorism is partly to blame for the FBI not identifying one of the Boston Marathon bombers in 2011 as a security risk, according to U.S. officials and private counterterrorism analysts.

Hour Four

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution Defining Ideas, Chicago Law, in re: Searches and Seizures: Reasonable or Unreasonable?  (1 of 2)

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution Defining Ideas, Chicago Law, in re: Searches and Seizures: Reasonable or Unreasonable?  (2 of 2)

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Steve Moore, WSJ, in re: Baucus and the Tax Code Does the senator's announced retirement make reform less likely?

Friday  26 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Michael Ciepley, NYT, in re: U.S. Box Office Heroes Proving Mortal in China  Hollywood blockbusters appeared poised last year to take over China’s box office, but something unexpected happened on the way to the bank: demand tapered off sharply.

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Hour 1:   Dark Knight Rises, True Grit

Hour 2:  True Grit, Frost/Nixon 

Hour 3:  The Raid 

Hour 4:  Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 

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