The John Batchelor Show

Friday 26 July 2013

Air Date: 
July 26, 2013

Photo, above: Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi.  See: Hour 3, Block A, Michael Ledeen, FDD.

Some followers of the dissident Iranian cleric Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi say his health has further deteriorated in prison. Boroujerdi, who supports the separation of religion from the state, was arrested in October 2006. One year later, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges including "enmity with God" and "spreading propaganda against the regime."Since Boroujerdi's arrest, his supporters say they have been under pressure and are often threatened, detained, and prosecuted.

Roya Eraghi, a follower of Boroujerdi who is currently living outside Iran after being released from prison on bail, told Radio Farda on July 4 that due to severe pressure and torture in jail Boroujerdi has developed several afflictions, including a heart condition. She added that Boroujerdi has also lost vision in one eye but has not been allowed to leave prison to receive medical treatment.   Abbas Tabatabai, another follower of Boroujerdi who left Iran after being arrested in 2006 and later released, told Radio Farda that the cleric's supporters are facing various charges.  Tabatabai said he had been charged with "enmity with God," acting against Iran's national security, and espionage for Israel.

In 2010, Boroujerdi wrote an open letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holding him responsible for the extensive violation of human rights in Iran.  The letter says 30 years ago Iranian people were deceived into believing that the Islamic regime was going to be based on "independence, freedom, republicanism, and piety." But now people no longer want to maintain this political system, he said.  Boroujerdi concluded his letter by calling for a "free referendum" in Iran "directly supervised by UN observers." Family members of Boroujerdi wrote a letter last year to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking him to intervene in the jailed cleric's case. The letter stated that they were deeply concerned about Boroujerdi's health at that time and the inability for him to receive proper medical care.  [more]


Hour One

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Quentin Hardy, NYT, in re:  Big Data Analysis Adds to Guest Worker Debate  A private job placement company said that there are plenty of job seekers in the United States for thousands of tech jobs, raising doubts over appeals for more foreign guest workers.

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Tim Lavin, Bloomberg View, in re: Bankrupt Detroit Shouldn’t Scalp Bondholders: 

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Donald McNeil, NYT, in re: Pakistan Battles Polio, and Its People’s Mistrust

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 1, Block D: John Tamny,, in re: Detroit's failure wasn't a function of high taxes, unions, or socialist politicians who sadly run nearly every U.S. city.  Instead, it failed due to ignorance of comparative advantage. Cars are so easy to make now that even American companies make passable ones, yet Michigan and Detroit clung to the manufacture of that which is simple.  If Silicon Valley had followed this model of both design and manufacture, it too would be in trouble.   The Unions Didn't Bankrupt Detroit, But Quality American Cars Did   Those who rent cars are increasingly aware of the high-quality vehicles manufactured by wrongly-bailed-out U.S. automakers. More on the bailouts later, but the fact that American cars drive so well today paradoxically helps explain why Detroit filed for bankruptcy last week.

Hour Two

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Kori Schake, Hoover, in re: 3 Questions the Army Needs to Answer Persuasively Shadow Government (Foreign Policy)

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Rodger Baker., in re: Recognizing the End of the Chinese Economic Miracle Geopolitical Weekly Major shifts under way in the Chinese economy that Stratfor has forecast and discussed for years have . . . 

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Richard Epstein, Hoover, in re: As the country well knows, in a Seminole County courthouse on July 13, 2013, a six-woman Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman of charges of both second-degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of an unarmed 16-year-old, Trayvon Martin. Ordinarily, a jury verdict signals an end to public controversy on a particular case. But not in this case. The post-trial events have turned a powerful lens on modern American society. That lens reveals a deep distrust of the operation of our criminal justice system by millions of Americans who think that Zimmerman’s acquittal amounted to a travesty of justice. The United States has had its fair share of travesties, but the Florida verdict is not one of them. For starters, why should Zimmerman have been prosecuted at all . . .

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Eileen Norcross, Mercatus Center, in re:

BLOOMBERG OP-ED: After Detroit, It's Time to Reform America's Struggling Local Pensions

Detroit is now the largest U.S. city to ever declare bankruptcy. A Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow explains how other financially troubled cities can avoid a similar fate:

While it is too late to save Detroit, it may still be possible to prevent similar disasters from unfolding elsewhere by ending our longstanding practice of putting state and local governments in charge of pensions.  Public-sector plans are in peril because pensions are essentially mere promises that are paid for years or even decades after they are made. A politician can woo votes by promising benefits today, knowing very well that after he or she has left office, someone else have to figure out how to pay the bill. This opens the door to plan mismanagement, flawed accounting assumptions, and disingenuous politics.

     Instead of governments managing defined-benefit plans and investing assets, let municipal or state employers purchase a portable annuity from an insurance company that would manage and invest the funds and deliver retirees’ monthly checks.  Governments would have to face the bill and fund employee benefits fully by paying the insurance company upfront. Public employees would own the annuity as they earn it and wouldn’t have to bank on the promises of politicians or budgetary vagaries. And taxpayers would no longer have to fear a sudden pension crisis that requires raising taxes or cutting services.  Get governments out of the pension business, and give employees the certainty that they will receive the benefits they earned.  Read the entire op-ed.

Hour Three

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Michael Ledeen, FDD and Faster, Please! in re: Our negotiators should go to the next round of talks with an appeal for the release of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, an appeal that should be reinforced at the United Nations by Samantha Power (who has often campaigned on behalf of oppressed peoples).Meanwhile, we should all write to our elected and appointed officials–anywhere in the world–asking them to publicly appeal for Boroujerdi’s release.  It’s both the right thing to do, and a useful test of the intentions of the new Iranian government.

Free Boroujerdi!

Iranian cleric jailed for dissident views 'has deteriorating health problems'   Kazemeyni Boroujerdi is suffering from worsening Parkinson's, diabetes and high blood pressure, according to Amnesty. An imprisoned Iranian cleric who fell foul of the authorities after advocating the separation of religion and state is in poor health condition, activists have warned.  Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi was sentenced to 11 years in jail in June 2007 following a trial behind closed doors that found him guilty of 30 charges including acting against national security and having links with anti-revolutionaries and spies.  His supporters say the charges stemmed from his opposition to the involvement of religious clerics in politics and his public criticism of the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Boroujerdi, an outspoken Shia cleric has repeatedly called the concept of political leadership by the clergy unlawful and has described Tehran's regime as a "religious dictatorship".

Boroujerdi was arrested along with hundreds of his followers in Tehran in October 2006 after clashes between security officials and his supporters.  The 53-year-old scholar, who is currently held in Tehran's Evin prison in a ward designated for dissident clerics, was initially given a death sentence before an appeals court reduced it to 11 years in jail. He was found guilty of insulting the supreme leader, spreading propaganda against the regime and moharebeh or waging war against God, a charge that carries the death penalty under Iranian law.  Boroujerdi is the son of a prominent ayatollah who refused to back Rouhollah Khomeini in his years as the founder of the Islamic revolution in 1979. According to Amnesty International, Boroujerdi has been subjected to torture and ill-treatment while in prison and suffers from Parkinson's disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. His health is believed to have worsened in recent weeks.  [more]

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Michael Tackett, NYT, in re: “Democrats have their own void: a shortage of rising stars” – “Of the 20 Democratic governors, the mean age is more than 60; the youngest is Montana Governor Steve Bullock, 47. In state legislatures where they have majority control, 70 percent of the members are older than 50, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. In the mayor’s office in nine of the 10 largest cities, all held by Democrats, the average age exceeds 50; San Antonio’s Julian Castro, 38, who delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, bends the curve downward.”

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Mike Winerip, NYT, in re: Today we launched a new column for baby boomers called Booming.    . . . the Millennials stealing boomers’ futures:

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Henry Nau, Hoover, in re: Since Reagan’s death, despite voluminous new documents that reveal his mastery as president, the academic world has shunned him. Even worse, not only liberals, but Republicans have marginalized Reagan. In recent months one conservative pundit after the other has called upon the Republican Party to get over our fortieth president. They say he was a man of his times but the times have changed. Limited government, low taxes, personal responsibility, family values, strong defense, secure borders, and standing by oppressed people around the world are out of date…

Hour Four


Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure that Took the Victorian World by Storm, by Monte Reel  (1 of 4)

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure that Took the Victorian World by Storm, by Monte Reel (2 of 4)

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure that Took the Victorian World by Storm, by Monte Reel (3 of 4)

Friday  26 July  2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure that Took the Victorian World by Storm, by Monte Reel (4 of 4)

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