The John Batchelor Show

Friday 3 April 2020

Air Date: 
April 03, 2020

Hour One
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 1, Block A:  Dan Henninger, WSJ editorial board, in re:
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 1, Block B:  Jeff Bliss, Pacific Watch, in re:  Somebody tried to ram a train into a ship, the USNS Mercy, in San Diego harbor.  Astounding. He thought the ship was being used to house not medical help but something nefarious.
Surfer off Malibu on a large surfboard, told by lifeguards to come in, he tried to escape; LA County police boat managed to get him back on the beach, where he was arrested.
Bay Area has banned certain bags: the reusable variety is thought to harbor viruses so people need to use reusable plastic bags —or be arrested and fined.
Citizens are buying huge volumes of booze for online cocktail parties.  Restaurants are serving lots of [take-out mixed drinks?]. 
Where are all the homeless people?  No longer visible.
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 1, Block C: Robert Zimmerman,, in re:  Looks as though NASA seriously intends to fly the demo mission in May, and won’t be buying more seats on Soyuz?  Perhaps looking forward to no payments, but barter?  . . .  Starship, Boca Chica, Texas.  Cargo doors will open “almost like an alligator.” Drawings look like a locomotive.  Using Zoom for remote lecture.  Forbidden to SpaceX employees because it’s  so insecure. SpaceX has proprietary designs.  Momentus is a company focused on small sats: it provides an upper stage for cube sats.  Vigoride is attached to cube sat to [rectify] its orbit. Signed a deal with Taiwan. Puts pressure on tiny sats. Last year, in 2019,  there were 183,000 workers in commercial space. [“With Vigoride, Exolaunch will send ‘cubesat and microsatellite constellations to multiple orbits, giving clients an unprecedented flexibility of . . .’ ”]
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 1, Block D: Robert Zimmerman,, in re:  ESA resumes science operations in orbiting spacecraft.    Sats put in safe mode because someone quarantined and no one to operate the craft.  Now, out of safe mode, crews reinstalled.   BepiColumbo*.  Protestors vs 30-meter telescope in Hawaii were obliged to leave in response to the virus.  The Moon . . . looking for less ejecta and more basalt.  Yutu travels 90 feet per lunar day; has gone 1400 feet. Will take 60 lunar days to achieve its goal; either China is not providing accurate information (“Surprise surprise”), or else the goal isn’t that far. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: enigmas. 
* BepiColombo is a joint mission between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership.
Hour Two
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 2, Block A: Devin Nunes, CA-22, in re:   Dr Gina Loudon about what to do with children at home?  The positive aspects, the opportunities. Unemployed people and what to do.  Gov Newsom siphons water from the San Joaquin Valley to send into the ocean.  Almost not credible. Because of rain, and with people not out and about to buy food (and not having any money), this may be a year in which there’s such a surplus of food that crops will have to rot in the fields.
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 2, Block B:  Devin Nunes, CA-22, in re:   Something irregular in investigating allegations against he president; now, shown that the FISA process was abused by FBI leadership; a pattern of abuse.    Lee Smith, The Plot against the President.   Senior dirty cops in Washington, DC; in nearly every FISA application: no oversight and often no transcripts, over at least four years.  They knew exactly what they wanted. “Dirty October surprise” to try to tie Trump to Russia. On Oct 31?, someone leaked to the Washington Post information that was illegal to transmit.  Main media have egg all over their face; many will see me in Federal court, but, oddly, they continue to hide.
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 2, Block C:  Chris Riegel,, in re: Dissent in the EU as some states struggle mightily under the virus.  Northern European conservative parts; and southern, incl Italy, Spain and Portugal.  One of the virus victims may be the EU, itself.  Schengen.  The EU has been only as economically viable as Germany has been willing to sign checks.  Italians are in no position to [protect themselves sufficiently].  Greece, Italy and Spain never cleared up post-2008; now it comes back to roost. Small businesses cannot sustain a protracted shut-down. Apocalyptic scenario.  Creative destruction occurs when the market dictates a change. Currently, this is governmental.  Seems to be turning into a command economy; whereas Americans have always been faster and more agile than any other nationals.  Am looking at I-75, where the truck traffic is strong and passenger vehicles are more numerous than last week.
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 2, Block D: Charlie Gasparino, Fox Business and brother of a hero at Brooklyn Hospital, in re: Can Jamie Dimon once again rescue the situation?  Esp BofA isn’t working right: it’s looking for reasons not to process loans.   Dimon waited till today to roll out the loans:  “We don’t have to be first; we just have to do it right.”  This is not a financial crisis, it's a health crisis. Charlie’s brother, a distinguished physician (thrown out of high school, got an associate’s degree, got into Stony Brook then Columbia; has been doing critical care ever since). A martial art expert. Now working 14-hour days as head of critical care at Brooklyn Hospital.  I worry about him.   Treatment cocktail of vitamin C and the rest shows positive results. Once someone goes on a respirator, it's really hard to get them off. People between the ages of 50 and 70 are deathly ill. Heads critical care at Brooklyn Hospital. / Will blow through the $350 billion quickly.  Horse trading: Jamie Dimon wants relaxation of the Davis-Bacon Act; Pelosi wants specific infrastructure.
Hour Three
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 3, Block A: Tyler Rogoway, @Aviation_Intel, The Drive at The War Zone, in re:  N95 mask:  part of basic kit for blocking viruses.  Ideally, should be pennies per mask in bulk. How is it that this part of the strategic national stockpile is so short?   Need 3.5 billion for a pandemic. This is the biggest such oversight in US history. We had every warning—SARS, MERS, swine flu, H1N1.  After the last, the Obama Adm never replenished; later, neither did the Trump Adm.
Site R (Raven Rock Mountain Complex [RRMC]) inside a mountain north of DC, and Mount Weather. These are NORAD-type complexes, cities built inside a mountain and equipped to withstand a nuclear blast. Continuity of command structure. He Israeli bunker: a doorway that opens for vehicles; it goes down many levels.  Built to house hundreds of people at a time.  It's right inside Jerusalem, rather in the open. 
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 3, Block B:  Tyler Rogoway, @Aviation_Intel,  The Drive at The War Zone, in re:  Large, fat submarines. Think: Kursk event.  Are among the quietest in Russia’s inventory.  Dealing with the same Wuhan flu problems we are; had to take the sub in and put sailors into quarantine. Same for a Dutch sub. These are tighter-packed than a space ship. Russian reports are extremely opaque.  Putin in yellow gear—N95 times a hundred.   Deployment of Truman and Eisenhower in the Persian Gulf.  One is of the two is heading to the Pacific right now. Iran initiate a conflict with the US?  Yugely unlikely—despite our slight indisposition at the moment, we simply have too much power.  
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 3, Block C:  Gene Marks, Small Business America, Philadelphia Inquirer, & The Guardian; in re: The CARES Act.  The payroll protection program: a $350 billion part of the Act.  Being given out not by the SBA but by banks.  BofA is trending on twitter “not for the right reasons.”  Oops.   Today, I’m angry. Community and independent banks are stepping up to the plate, but the large banks are playing games. Our heroes are running hospitals, policing cities, saving lives.  This is unacceptable.  Online lenders are preparing to lend, but in the meantime: this isn’t very profitable for a bank, giving only 1%; big bankers are sandbagging innocent citizens.  This is a great way to bring in new customers—and almost everybody is stepping up while our largest financial institutions can’t be civil. It's shameful.  Program went into effect at midnight of Thursday-Friday.  There’s a standard loan app all the banks are using: Payroll Protection Program, easily available online. SBA says, Don’t worry about the details—we're trying to get money out swiftly into the hands of small-business owners.
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 3, Block D:  Gene Marks, Small Business America, Philadelphia Inquirer, & The Guardian; in re: Shutting down. Flattening the curve.  We could all have got to business a lot earlier; am not criticizing the president.  Much faster had we just bit the bullet.  Now we have 6 million people applying for unemployment insurance because the government has  stopped the economy.  The $350 billion fund clearly won’t be enough; small businesses will need more just to carry on.  To big banks: “Don’t just sit there with your doors open till five; communicate: blogs, videos, go out into the community. This is a wonderful opportunity for banks to go out and reach small businesses; this is a massive marketing program.” The large banks are failing; the small banks get it.
Hour Four
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 4, Block A: Patrick Tucker, DefenseOne technology editor; in re:   A group of Florida researchers used a supercomputer, found that people in an enclosed space can be appropriately managed.  A lot of airborne illnesses: one superspreader in a plane can spread more widely than __; about two rows ahead and behind . . .  Standing waiting for others to load luggage into overhead compartments  [is not wholesome].  New basic safety practices. How to board and disembark.   Commercial space; failure so far of OneWeb, satellite communications.  Rocket Lab, New Zealand government. Areleigh-Burke class.  Temperature readings.  Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Mobley.
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 4, Block B: Patrick Tucker, DefenseOne technology editor; in re:    Thermal imaging of a person: can detect temperature within a couple of degrees Celsius.  Explosion of sales worldwide. Wuhan flu can pass asymptomatically, but  customer base has shifted from militaries to a broad range of civilian forms.  Cyberhackers out of China in the time of the virus: has been heavy since January. Hacking key industries, defense, everything. Especially American healthcare.  Puzzling.  While the Chinese govt was trying to suppress the virus and also information, it was still heavily engaged in this familiar but malign activity. [Leopards don’t change their spots.]
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 4, Block C: Michael E Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: Surprise attack, with a US government unenthusiastic about acknowledging the worst right off the bat. Why should it? We were smack in the middle of the best economy in history. John Buford rides into Gettysburg in 1863, wondering where Lee’s army is. Next morning, news of Henry Heath’s heavy infantry division on the Chambersburg road. At that moment, the Union was in an existential risk, no reason to think they could get out of it.  Similar to how the virus seems to be winning now.
First, take a deep breath and look at the situation again, Tempted to panic? In fact the Union was sitting pretty, having scouted the area for months.  We thought Pearl Harbor was the end, but Japan was brittle and riding entirely on the Kedo Butai. 
Friday 3 April 2020 / Hour 4, Block D:  Michael E Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re:  Where we are in the time of the virus.  The United States and China, and even the United States and continental Europe, as competing civilizations.  Our apparently quite-bright future.