The John Batchelor Show

Friday 30 March 2018

Air Date: 
March 30, 2018

Photo: Seal of the Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. See: Liz Peek, Hour 1, Block A, on the curious effort to include noncitizens in the decennial census of US citizens.
Hour One
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 1, Block A:  Liz Peek,  Fiscal Time and Fox News,  in re: Once a decade, the US conducts a census to see how many US citizens are present in order to allot representatives to Congress.
Last time we did a census, California got five additional seats — as it turns out, from people in the country illegally.  This runs counter to the Constitution, which calls for an enumeration of how many citizens are here.  Now, we have a large number of illegals living in the US – in Cali, 6% - which can boost local political power and also bring in a great deal of money from the federal government.
Eric Holder calls this a direct assault on representative government, as he favors counting illegals.  This is taxation with misrepresentation. 
Number of Hispanics in Georgia is growing very fast. Were coming to mid-term elections; if it comes down to one or two or three seats in Congress that hold the balance, we’ll see how important this question is.  California can pick up nine seats!   Eric Holder is trying to redistrict within states to see how Democrats can to well. This is not a moral issue; it’s purely political.
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, which states: "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States ... according to their respective Numbers .
Market’s ’way up since the 2016 election, and wages are increasing; these account for the president’s improving poll ratings. Nancy Pelosi called the tax revisions “a scam.”  Americans are seeing how theses tax cuts are not only for the rich – low-income Americans are feeling increasingly empowered.  In the last quarter, capital spending increased, generating higher wages. 
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 1, Block B:  Henry I Miller, Hoover Institution, in re; Crisper, much in he news: gene editing and genetic engineering.    My former boss, Dr Frank Young, former FDA commissioner.  The term GMO (genetically-modified organism) was coined decades ago to be pejorative.   Amazingly, Russian troll factories disparage “non-GMO” since Russian crop work is years retarded in genetic engineering, nowhere near close.  Organic farming uses more water, crop is susceptible to insects, and soil is depleted.    Govt subsidizes organic ag, so has a conflict of interest.   Organic agriculture standards are devised and made up with not standard specs.  Is a marketing tool.
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: Dan Henninger, WSJ editorial board, in re:  Mark Zuckerberg, a long prince of modern society, suddenly is an enemy as a thief of personal data. Facebook’s association with Cambridge Analytica, which is accused of having aided the Trump campaign,  has led many to think that FB elected Pres Trump.  FB no longer is considered to be “bringing people together” but is called in effect a blight on humanity. Old-fashioned smear politics.  Zuckerberg will be raked over the coals by Congress, where there’ll be much talk-talk, and maybe even an effort to pass the “honest ads” law, probably to little effect; however, it's an open door to [discuss] FAANG*, Reddit, et al. 
When you sign up for a data site, read the long permissions document. At the end, you have to agree to get use of the software. Beware the cavalier notion, “Whatever.”  Don't just scroll down the boilerplate and agree.  Ha-ha – it’d be good if the corporation had in bold at the top of the doc, “This is the sentence you need to read!”
Google began its existence with, “Don’t be evil.”  What we really need to heed is, “Don’t be stupid!”
Pres Obama’s team did what Cambridge Analytica did — used date to identify young people’s interests in remarkable detail — and was lionized as being wonderfully digitally sophisticated; Cambridge Analytica did the same thing and is excoriated as crooked, as having committed a crime against humanity.  We await 12 May for Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional appearance.
*Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (represented by a “g” because it was formerly Google).
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 1, Block D: Boris Zilberman, FDD,  in re: Escalating bad relations between Moscow and many Western states, excluding Greece, Austria, and a few others. “Military grade, highly sophisticated nerve agent in the UK. ”   Russia-Armenia-Iran axis in the South Caucasus. Northstream2 to Germany.  . . .  Now’s about sending a message – car bombs are less brazen and don't devolve into having twenty-nine nations eject your intell officers. 
Hour Two
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 2, Block A:  Michael E Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re: From 1783 till 1980s: expansion of the New World.  The South tried to calve off the slave states and the Caribbean. Them second century, 1880s to 1980s, we reluctantly entered the First War, then triumphantly the Second War.  Europe was so reduced the US became the cop on the beat. With the end of the Soviet state, Victor Bulmer-Thomas [Empire in Retreat] believes we’ve gone into irreversible decline, doubt that we’ll reach 2080.
The globalists, imperialists, like patrolling he world, and the nationalists, America Firsters, believe we need to establish a sustainable country.
Bulmer-Thomas holds that empires change.  He posited three stages: straight territorial empire, then informal empire, then “an empire of institutions” – or of a single, legitimating idea.  Rome by that means lasted into the Fourteenth, Fifteenth Centuries.  The US legitimating idea, the grand vision of a universal order based on great American democratic principles and free market, has failed not only in Vietnam but  . . .   Has been betrayed by its own elite: who have created a very different version since 2001, which I style as “military guardianship,” focussed on its relations’ with the world being founded upon and extended into totally military relations. 
US and NATO: NATO was founded on cultural bridges and relations between the two have become solely military – invested in Sunni Islam and . . . 
East Asia: Japan, Korea, Taiwan Singapore, are wholly dependent on US mil. Defined by the mil protection we extend to others.
Also the US civil service that maintains the mil – Michael and John Batchelor were raise to maintain that bureaucracy! Same as Britons were raised to walk into Whitehall. An elite that feels as though it was born to rule.  The age group who grew up in the Sixties . . .  Populist surge against the elite, which sees only one path to ruling the world.  Can't see that they've turned this globalized vision into a narcissistic vision of themselves as anointed. 
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 2, Block B:  Michael E Vlahos, Johns Hopkins, in re:  Will America last to tis third century, 2080?  Or will it slip under the waves?  Sooner than we think. The most powerful wallop from 2016 was that Mr Trump was put over the top by counties that have lost the most men and women in Afghanistan. Elite feels not only anointed and entitled, but those who bear the burden of their narcissism – elite can't bear to [acknowledge] what they've done. Might say it’s the 1% against the 1% -elite live in a world in which history is all about thee, regular people of America have had enough If you take a great idea, which FDR sold to America and was flung to the world in 1945, then abuse it – 5,000 air-refueling sorties to Saudis so they can bomb Yemenis civilians – we find our elite sucked into a corrupting stance in the world.  Military guardianship of the US is more corrupt than was Britain, which was willing to give independence to countries.  . .  .   Vietnam was always about body count.  AFRICOM boasts of its airstrikes vs Shebaab in Somalia, a failed state.  Killing people unknown to us.   We're in the same position as Imperial Rome in the 370s – so highly militarized they wiped out one barbarian people after another; thirty years later, attacked by the Visigoths, whom the Romans welcomed because he lifted taxes and treated them as normal people.
Our sister is Cassandra.
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 2, Block C:  Gene Marks, Washington Post small-business columnist, in re: American small business. The mightily-burgeoning marijuana industry nationwide, esp in California. 
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 2, Block D: Gene Marks, Washington Post small-business columnist, in re: Despite the vast, gorgeous boreal forests of Maine, it hasn't hitherto made axes. Recall the new axe-throwing games.  Stephen Ferguson wanted to buy his godson an axe made in Maine, but most are now made in Sweden, China, etc., so he started a company of his own, a new line of custom-made axes to be released in the spring.
Singapore company:  a small-co credit card s don't usu allow large purchases; CardUp will act as a middleman: if you need to pay the govt or a utility, you can wait an extra thirty days to pay down the credit card – winds up as a sixty-day freebie.   One hour of babysitting in New York City now cost s on average: $16.89. In San Francisco, $17-plus. See: .  Lulu app uses restaurant downtime – between crowded times, can rent out bathrooms (from 99 cents to $5, restaurant get 65%; restaurant can make $3,000 to $5,000 per week.  BagBag: Use restaurant to store luggage at $6 per bag so tourists can store suitcases for a day.  Sleeping: all studies show that not getting enough sleep reduces productivity.  Ergo, employers ought to have employees take a small nap during the day.
Hour Three
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 3, Block A: Jeff Bliss, Pacific Watch, in re:  Shocking video of homeless people in California: people face-down in street in medical crises; people threatening passers-by; people living in tents in downtown Los Angeles. Used to be isolated to Skid Row, now has grown to Hollywood Hills, or hedgie areas, or beaches; under overpasses, in common walk areas. The vid covers downtown LA.  Council estimate 25,000 homeless, while the truth is between 75,000 and 100, 000.  Services are stretched beyond the breaking point. May deal with the same person three times in one eight-hour shift. 
Orange County: had a river bed in Anaheim where homeless were mandated to leave; put them n hotels for a month. Plan for a tent city, temporary encampments, in OC, but much resistance NIMBY. An abandoned air base, but surrounded by Irvine, which is upscale, rich immigrants, reject this as an invasion.  Fairview Center in Costa Mesa for mental health assistance?  . . .
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 3, Block B:  Jeff Bliss, Pacific Watch, in re: OC sues against Cali sanctuary laws!   Los Alamidos began, now San Diego County, Escondido in SD Co.  “We do this as a Constitutional form of govt. We’re not on board with the sanctuary movement.”   Marijuana: If you had prior arrest for smoke, you cannot now engage in legal weed.    A woman had an amazingly huge grow operation – her electricity bill ran $60,000 a month. Police checked, found enormous complex. Now, she has to get over the hurdle of the state reg.  Engineer Bliss once drove a train at Disneyland;  when Disneyland says Jump, the City of Anaheim says, How high?  The city now says, You aren’t paying a fair share of taxes and we need a little help; Disney pushes back.  In San Francisco, houses are sky-high. One guy prefers to charter a plane to go work rather than pay for local real estate. More people are leaving than arriving, but the city thinks, Hey, if you can’t cut it, move on.   Worry only if key support people in digital start to decamp.
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 3, Block C:  Richard Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover Institution; in re:  Tariffs, cars, quotas.   . .  The world agrees that as long as everyone lays more or less by the rues, everything rolls along well enough; when one country varies considerably, the whole balance [goes kerplooey].  The US has been a patsy for many years, esp with China but with our trading partners.  Is reducing the trade balance with China protectionism? More mercantilism.  Need to disaggregate export and import markets.  Turns out the export trades are good and the import trades are good; if you get three good numbers – import, export, ____ — you win    . Let the supply chain guys work this out.  B-to-B trades in NAFTA.   . . .
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 3, Block D:  Richard Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover Institution; in re:  China has been dumping steel in the US.  Unfair practices: who’s harmed by subsidies? The subsidized Chinese firms have to wind up paying somehow. Who benefits? The US consumer.  I say, take advantage wherever you can; change the kid of steel we produce, Anti-dumpling laws have a huge administrative cost.  . . .   Europeans are frightened at Russia’s supplying cheap gas then cutting it off; best to have private deals: make back-up deals with US suppliers.  When someone deliberately tries to wreck the international equilibrium . . . However, theft of intellectual property is more damaging and needs a strong response.  The Chinese are basically a trade nightmare from top to bottom – considering themselves to be a super-privileged economic power.   Americans say, they take our IP and use it to make stuff they can sell cheaper.  The fear is that you’ll take $10 Bil PA problem, and turn it into a $100 Bil PA problem.  The tariffs on steel not from China were silly.  China does that same thing to Germans, Brits; need to have a coalition. China is a much worse place to do business now than it was ten years ago; bad business now under a strong-man dictator.  Note that since the 1990s the best minds in DC have told us that extending privileges to China would reform China. Were we lied to? Nah, it’s Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping.
Hour Four
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 4, Block A: Lee Lacy, Assistant Professor, Command and General Staff College Agency: Department of the Army; in re: Rosenberg case again.  Backdrop of McCarthy. Ethel Rosenberg’s role was murky at the time, but by now it looks as though she did play a role in espionage.  She was a typist; some of the secrets were typed by you. Verdict: guilty. Sentence: death.  The very-guilty Klaus Fuchs wound up being a respected professor in East Germany. Why this ghastly discrepancy?  Pres Truman could have used executive clemency; not a lot of official info to be found. We think that the Dep Atty Gen thought the death penalty was suitable; Truman said naught except at his last presser in 1953 when he said he hadn’t decided . . . vena transcripts: intell against the Soviet Union, top secret; wiretapped Soviet transmissions to the US, broke the code, tapped into Soviet comms with spy network. Robert Novak concluded that Truman had read the Venona transcripts via Oliver Kirby. Trial during Truman Adm.  Nazi saboteurs were executed under Roosevelt.
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 4, Block B: Lee Lacy, Assistant Professor, Command and General Staff College Agency: Department of the Army; in re: Rosenberg case. The non-use of executive clemency. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to die at Ossining prison on the Hudson River Two president decided not to intervene despite massive appeals.  In 1953, the clemency request was officially passed to the Eisenhower Dept of Justice.   Eisenhower decided about three weeks later.   Was Ike briefed on the Venona transcripts?  No evidence. Atty-Gen Herbert Brownell may have seen them.  Later, Nixon said that no one had he true information. Ike thought that Ethel was the ringleader; wrote so to his son in Korea.   Did Ike indicate that he was not using clemency because of McCarthy? No. He was very methodical in making decisions: took in all evidence, waited, looked at the whole picture.  This is still a very big issue. The two Rosenberg sons are still asking presidents – incl Pres Obama – to grant posthumous clemency to their mother.  The Rosenberg case well into the Twenty-first Century.
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Wikipedia:  For decades, the Rosenbergs's sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol, and many other defenders maintained that Julius and Ethel were innocent of spying on their country and victims of Cold War paranoia. After the fall of the Soviet Union, much information concerning them was declassified, including a trove of decoded Soviet cables, code-named VENONA, which detailed Julius's role as a courier and recruiter for the Soviets and Ethel's role as an accessory. Their sons' current position is that Julius was legally guilty of the conspiracy charge, though not of atomic spying, while Ethel was only generally aware of his activities. The children believe that their father did not deserve the death penalty and that their mother was wrongly convicted. They continue to campaign for Ethel to be posthumously and legally exonerated.  . . . There is a consensus among historians that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were guilty, but their trial was marred by clear judicial and legal improprieties and they should not have been executed. Distilling this consensus, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz wrote that the Rosenbergs were "guilty – and framed.”
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 4, Block C:  Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, in re: Protecting and preserving Apollo lunar landing sites and artifacts.  Smithsonian grabs some of the material – but where's the law? If you throw something away in the ocean, you lose property rights. Who’s responsible for this stuff? White House says it’s ours and covered by intl treaty. However, the treaty (Outer Space Treaty of 1967, many signatories) has a lot of gray areas. A lot of eqpt up there. US has been clear that all materials on the Moon that the US left there belong to the US, thanks to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. Apollo 11, 12, 13 ,14 17, plus other stuff and US flags. Also impact sites for Ranger.
Russians  have impact sites, and China has probe that didn’t work.  When you start untangling space law, fear that the by asserting this legal claim, US is trying to do a land-grab.   . . .  And scientific reasons for not wanting to mess with the stuff there. Could do a lot of research if you approached the artifacts carefully. Not only sentimentality, but possible scientific research. 
Article IX:  . . . Nations are to be guided by the principle of cooperation; intl consultations.  The notion that our things in space belong to us has been ingrained the US military.
Now consider rovers on Mars, where there’s a lot of water under the surface. Possession is all the law.  This argues for getting there quickly.  The leverage is: getting there.
Friday  30 March 2018 / Hour 4, Block D:  Hotel Mars, episode n, in re: Mark Raymond, director of the Flight Team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Dawn Mission, and David Livingston, The Space Show; in re: White spots on Ceres, a dwarf planet that’s which is volcanically active, definitely not inert. Has a rich, complex set of minerals; internal geological forces, et al.  In the main asteroid belt.  We’re looking for liquid water; found a patch of ice, 1.5 sq mi, which grew by 470 acres in six months, on the surface.  Is a seasonal change.  . . . Also carbonates on the surface: a form of salt and reflect light a lot.  Formed and deposited by chemical processes that involve water; we think once there was a liquid ocean.