The John Batchelor Show

Friday 31 May 2013

Air Date: 
May 31, 2013


Photo, above: PLA 2049?


Hour One

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Jim McTague Barron’s Poll: Voters want special prosecutor for IRS caseUSA TODAY ‎- 1 day ago 
Most Americans want a special prosecutor to investigate possible abuses at the Internal Revenue Service, according to a new poll. American ...

Poll: Americans want special prosecutor for IRS scandal

Washington Post‎ - by Rachel Weiner‎ - 1 day ago

Poll: 76 percent want special prosecutor to investigate IRS scandal


Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Paul Gregory, Hoover, Sergei Guriev has left Russia. Guriev, the Dean of Moscow’s New School of Economics, is Russia’s most respected economist with a deserved international reputation for his publications on contract theory and political economy. The New Economic School, which he heads, is the leading school of economics in Russia and remarkably among the best in Europe

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Zimmerman, MAY 31, 2013 AT 9:05 AM

Radar images of asteroid 1998 QE2, flying past the Earth today, show that it has its own moon.

When astronomers analyzed radar readings to create their first maps of 1998 QE2, the big asteroid that’s due to sail past Earth on Friday, they were surprised to find that it has a moon twice as big as an ocean liner. 1998 QE2 itself is way bigger: The latest readings from NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif., are consistent with earlier estimates that the asteroid is about 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers wide). But the moon is hefty as well. Astronomers estimate its diameter at 2,000 feet (600 meters).

Friday 31 May  2013 / Hour 1, Block D:   Zimmerman MAY 31, 2013 AT 9:47 AM

The uncertainty of science: A new study suggests a link between CFCs, the ozone hole, and climate change.

“Most conventional theories expect that global temperatures will continue to increase as CO2 levels continue to rise, as they have done since 1850. What’s striking is that since 2002, global temperatures have actually declined – matching a decline in CFCs in the atmosphere,” Professor Lu said. “My calculations of CFC greenhouse effect show that there was global warming by about 0.6 °C from 1950 to 2002, but the earth has actually cooled since 2002. The cooling trend is set to continue for the next 50-70 years as the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere continues to decline.”

The data is interesting, though hardly as conclusive Lu claims. It does illustrate again how incredibly complex climate science is, and how many factors influence it that we can’t yet completely quantify.

Hour Two

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  .  Henry Miller, Hoover, "In Obama's America, some are more equal than others," is available at

The EPA has been granting favors to left-wing “green” organizations that it has refused to grant to conservative groups. Government agencies are supposed to waive fees for groups that disseminate information for public benefit, but there is a marked disparity in the granting of those waivers, depending on how “friendly” the groups are to the EPA’s expansive and precautionary view of government. Left-wing environmental organizations that lobby for a more intrusive, obstructionist EPA have fared much better, according to an analysis by Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “Of Sierra Club’s 15 requests,” Horner writes, “EPA granted 11. And Sierra Club received the harshest of treatments. In fact, EPA granted 19 of [the Natural Resources Defense Council's] 20 requests and 17 of EarthJustice’s 19 requests. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility went a perfect 17-for-17. The Waterkeeper Alliance had all three of its requests granted, Greenpeace and the Southern Environmental Law Center each were 2-for-2, the Center for Biological Diversity 4-for-4.” Read more:

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Jodi Schneider Bloomberg, Privacy Law Conflicts With Fact Finding in Probes of IRS By Richard Rubin

It’s not just an IRS official pleading the Fifth Amendment that’s slowing efforts to uncover the facts behind the Internal Revenue Service scandal. It’s Section 6103. The tax code’s privacy protections -- designed to prevent disclosure of taxpayers’ information -- were mentioned 26 times in the first round of congressional hearings on the IRS, repeatedly stopping lawmakers’ inquiries. Lawmakers investigating the tax agency’s scrutiny of small-government groups are finding their inquiries slowed as they navigate the few paths allowed by the privacy rules. The restrictions will make it difficult for Congress and the public to get a complete picture of what happened inside the IRS. Full story:

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Richard Epstein, Hoover,  The Apple Show Trial by Richard A. Epstein Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Epstein continued.

These hearings are a distraction from the main event, which are the ongoing hearings and revelations of the IRS scandal on exemptions offered to “civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” Here, the contrast could not be more stark. It was the IRS’s Lois Lerner who first announced her innocence in response to a planted question at a meeting of the American Bar Association, only to then plead the Fifth and—for the moment—to block further questioning just as she was put on administrative leave, with both full pay and benefits. Cook’s position was of course quite the opposite; he had no need to plead the Fifth, resign, or obfuscate. His overall message was simplicity itself: “We pay all the taxes we owe.”

Hour Three

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Michael Vlahos Naval War College 1800

It is the year 2049. China's economic development has so disturbed the world's other major powers that the United States, Japan, and Russia form an alliance and invade China. Fierce battles break out on the plains of northeast China, where Japanese troops and U.S. fighter jets besiege Chinese infantry. Caught by surprise, China's army nonetheless stages a glorious counterattack by deploying levitating tanks, and employing a strategy based on lessons learned from the Anti-Japanese War and the Resist America War (better known in the West as WWII and the Korean War, respectively).

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  Vlahos continued

THE view that war between the US and China is inevitable and that Australia will be drawn into such a conflict is a dangerous miscalculation, says defence white paper author Paul Dibb.

The comments to be made tonight by Mr Dibb will follow those by Julia Gillard, who yesterday deplored "false modesty" in our relationship with China and described Australia as "a feisty, activist polity, boxing smart, overachieving in global affairs".

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  Sharon Begley, Reuters, 1032

Exclusive: 'Workplace wellness' fails bottom line, waistlines - RAND

(Reuters) - A long-awaited report on workplace wellness programs, which has still not been publicly released, delivers a blow to the increasingly popular efforts, Reuters has learned, casting doubt on a pillar of the Affordable Care Act and a favorite of the business community.

According to a report by researchers at the RAND Corp, programs that try to get employees to become healthier and reduce medical costs have only a modest effect. Those findings run contrary to claims by the mostly small firms that sell workplace wellness to companies ranging from corporate titans to mom-and-pop operations.

RAND delivered the congressionally mandated analysis to the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services last fall.

The report found, for instance, that people who participate in such programs lose an average of only one pound a year for three years.f

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 3, Block D:  Dan Henninger, WSJ, 920 WONDER LAND By Daniel Henninger

Henninger: Obama's Dangerous Confusions 

Hour Four

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Allied Master Strategists: The Combined Chiefs of Staff in World War II by Rigby, David

Calling the Combined Chiefs of Staff the glue that held the British-American alliance together in World War II, David Rigby describes the vital contributions to Allied victory made by the organization, which drew its members from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the British Chiefs of Staff Committee, and the British Joint Staff Mission. Readers get a good understanding of the personalities involved and insights into the relationships between the Chiefs and Allied theater commanders. The role of the Combined Chiefs in economic mobilization and the bitter inter-Allied strategic debates are fully examined. Detailed information is also given about the Casablanca Conference and the Chiefs’ often highly contentious meetings in Washington. The book gives the Combined Chiefs what they have long deserved—a book not weighted towards the Americans or the British and not strictly naval, army, or air oriented, but combined in an international as well as an inter-service manner 

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  (2 of 4)


"Allied Master Strategists is the first authoritative account of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington, the key agency of U.S.-British military collaboration in World War II. Especially noteworthy are the personalities of the admirals and generals--reserved or flamboyant, cooperative or obstinate--who wrangled to shape the Allied path to victory." -Edward S. Miller, author War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897-1945

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  (3 of 4)

"Allied Master Strategists is an important new study of the central organization of the Western Allied effort in the Second World War. Not only is this very well researched and clearly written book an excellent and lucid starting point for serious newcomers approaching the history of the war, its new material and interesting and original perspectives, even if one may not agree with all of them, will stimulate even the best informed."--Dr. Eric Grove, professor of naval history, University of Salford

Friday  31 May  2013 / Hour 4, Block D:  (4 of 4)

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