Friday April 14, 2017
Photo: See "Thinking Man's Seal Team."
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 1, Block A: Dan Henninger, deputy editor, Wall Street Journal; in re: “America First” from Mr Trump turns out not to mean isolationism, but now, f he US to be the leader of he Free World. The sarin attack shifted his thinking; he changed the discussion in 59 strokes. In follow-up, DJT to Pres Xi: You do something about North Korea or I will. . . . Tillerson in Moscow lectures Lavrov; pretty much a surprise to all, esp reporters who wrote of collusion between Trump and Putin,. Russia wooing Iran, will rehab the Bushehr nuclear facility . . . . Trump Adm needs to get tax reform right or lose midterm elections. Kevin Hassett, AEI, now chairs Council of Economic Advisors, working with Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council.
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 1, Block B: Rill Roggio Long War Journal; in re: MOAB (“the mother of all bombs”), massive air blast (overpressure). Was said to have been aimed at Taliban rejects Khorasan Province, who became ISIS in Afghanistan. Also rejected in Afgh, Uzbekistan, et al. Control 35-40% (?) of Khorasan despite serious fight from US forces. Nangahar; remote, mountainous region. Living in villages and remote areas; openly control some. Gen Nicholson said they were in caves/tunnel systems. IS claims no casualties; Afgh mil claims 36 fighters killed in the MOAB attack. If family members of ISIS were killed, were they neutral civilians or loyal to jihadist fighters?
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 1, Block C: Liz Peek, Fiscal Times and Fox News, in re: Gary Cohn long of Goldman, is pressing for a carbon tax – suggesting he knows almost zilch about the GOP. . . . Esp Dems don't grasp what an enormous advantage US has over other nations, which often pay three to five times as much for electricity in mfrg. This is not a philosophical difference. Voters hired Trump not t move to the center, as he’s being pressed to do by Jared Kushner and Gary Cohn, inter al. Cohn wants to qualify tax reform, which voters to do not, McConnell grasped this. GOP hs been waiting to see forceful leadership of the Republican Party. The only people who like this are West Wing Democrats and the media. Trump needs to understand this; he will not get one Democratic vote because he softens his positions.
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 1, Block D: Thaddeus McCotter, WJR, The Great Voice of the Great Lakes; and author, Liberty Risen, in re: Adam Schiff and Jackie Speier have rcd letters from the House Standing C’ee on Ethics; they confirmed what was leaked on Amb Kislyak;, although could not confirm accuracy ought to recuse themselves, as did Chairman Nunes with a less-damaging accusation. Disclosed classified information in violation of House ethics rules. Casual about national security. Sen Lindsay Graham is pressing forward with speed to interview Susan Rice, whose credibility is somewhat besmirched. . . . GCHQ as source of leaks; traded info with CIA at director-to-director level August 2016.
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 2, Block A: Michael Vlahos, , in re: the Thucydides Trap, where a rising power and a declining power face each other. Both China and Russia are unused to a show of force by the US after eight years of accommodation; China can't easily denuclearize North Korea, whi9ch is its satrapy. Existential red line on the part of the US rocks the most fragile of he states, being DPRK, which is clawing to survive. Its identity needs will force it to struggle mightily. . . . Apocalyptic decisi0n.
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 2, Block B: Vlahos continued
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 2, Block C: Gene Marks, Washington Post: Banning Bikini Baristas in Suburban Seattle & Tales from Small Business America. @GeneMarks @WashingtonPost
"Washington State could arguably be called the epicenter of the modern coffee revolution. The state is chock full of coffee shops — both chains and local mom and pops. The undisputable king of coffee chains — Starbucks — is headquartered in Seattle, a city that was, not surprisingly, ranked recently as the country’s best city for coffee based on factors that included the number of highly rated coffee shops on Yelp and the number of roasting facilities in each location. I think it’s safe to say that Washington is a coffee drinking state.
But if you’re a coffee entrepreneur in Everett, Wash., a city of about 100,000 people located 25 miles north of Seattle, you may find that there’s something else brewing. The town is pushing to ban bikini baristas...."
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 2, Block D: continued
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 3, Block A: Mary Anastasia O'Grady, WSJ Editorial: Ecuador & Argentina discard transparency. Mary Anastasia O'Grady. @WSJOpinion.
"..That advice is a bad joke. Mr. Correa has been president since 2007. He runs the country’s largest media empire and controls the legislature, the judiciary, the top command of the army, and the national police. All members of the CNE have links to his government or his party, the PAIS Alliance. The head of the electoral appeals tribunal is the brother of Mr. Correa’s attorney general.
Mr. Moreno freely used government resources to campaign and played dirty. Fake Lasso ads in which he promised to privatize health care popped up on city buses, though Mr. Lasso had made no such proposal. With government control of more than 20 mass-media organizations, including television and radio stations, newspapers and magazines, Mr. Moreno blanketed the nation with his message. The government often interrupted programming on channels not owned by the state to run campaign spots.
The European Union observed Ecuador’s 2009 presidential election and issued a report critical of Mr. Correa’s use of government resources and power to influence the outcome. This time around the CNE blocked an EU observer mission.
The Cedatos exit poll showing Mr. Lasso with a comfortable lead was only one reason his supporters were optimistic on election night. With 82.22% of valid votes counted at the provincial level, the CNE’s website showed Mr. Lasso leading, 50.47% to 49.53%. The Lasso campaign says it was getting the same results.
Then the CNE website went down. A half-hour later, when it came back, Mr. Moreno had surged ahead, 51.1% to 48.9%.."
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 3, Block B: continued.
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 3, Block C: Tim Johnson:
"The geodynamic environment in which Earth’s first continents formed and were stabilized remains controversial1. Most exposed continental crust that can be dated back to the Archaean eon (4 billion to 2.5 billion years ago) comprises tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite rocks (TTGs) that were formed through partial melting of hydrated low-magnesium basaltic rocks2; notably, these TTGs have ‘arc-like’ signatures of trace elements and thus resemble the continental crust produced in modern subduction settings3. In the East Pilbara Terrane, Western Australia, low-magnesium basalts of the Coucal Formation at the base of the Pilbara Supergroup have trace-element compositions that are consistent with these being source rocks for TTGs. These basalts may be the remnants of a thick (more than 35 kilometres thick), ancient (more than 3.5 billion years old) basaltic crust4, 5 that is predicted to have existed if Archaean mantle temperatures were much hotter than today’s6, 7, 8. Here, using phase equilibria modelling of the Coucal basalts, we confirm their suitability as TTG ‘parents’, and suggest that TTGs were produced by around 20 per cent to 30 per cent melting of the Coucal basalts along high geothermal gradients (of more than 700 degrees Celsius per gigapascal). We also analyse the trace-element composition of the Coucal basalts, and propose that these rocks were themselves derived from an earlier generation of high-magnesium basaltic rocks, suggesting that the arc-like signature in Archaean TTGs was inherited from an ancestral source lineage. This protracted, multistage process for the production and stabilization of the first continents—coupled with the high geothermal gradients—is incompatible with modern-style plate tectonics, and favours instead the formation of TTGs near the base of thick, plateau-like basaltic crust9. Thus subduction was not required to produce TTGs in the early Archaean eon."
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 3, Block D: continued.
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 4, Block A: Steve Warner, DarkCity.fm. Thinking Man's Seal Team. Fukushima Hades. Nevada Desert Unknowns. Steve Warner @Darkcityfm Darkcity.fm
"...Szymanski expanded on his remarks in a brief interview later, saying he has his eye on a number of technologies, including pharmaceutical aids. But the results of one breakthrough involving the direct application of electrical stimulation to the brain have particularly caught his eye.
"In experiments, people who were watching these screens ... their ability to concentrate would fall off in about 20 minutes," Szymanski said. "But they did studies whereby a little bit of electrical stimulation was applied, and they were able to maintain the same peak performance for 20 hours."
Transcranial electrical stimulation was one of the technologies touted by then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter in July 2016 as part of his Defense Innovation Unit (Experimental), or DIUx, initiative. Since then, multiple SEAL units have begun actively testing the effectiveness of the technology, officials with Naval Special Warfare Command told Military.com..."
The Pentagon’s new innovation unit will be testing a high-tech headset to see whether it can make special operators even better fighters, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday.
Carter said the controversial theory behind the experimental headset is that it “uses non-invasive electrical stimulation” to improve the brain’s learning skills, which could translate into more powerful operators
The “enhanced human operations” headset project, developed by Halo Neuroscience to improve the brain’s ability to adapt, was funded by the Defense Innovation Unit (Experimental), or DIUx, the Carter initiative intended to connect the Pentagon with cutting-edge technology and keep the U.S. ahead of competitor nations.
The company claims its new Halo Sport headset builds on research already conducted by the armed forces.
“The U.S. military accelerated pilot and sniper training by 50 percent with neurotechnology similar to Halo Sport,” its website states. “We’re bringing these gains to athletics.”
Carter spoke in Boston, where he opened the first East Coast DIUx branch and also announced that Jeff Bezos, the Amazon chief executive and owner of The Washington Post, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan, would be joining the Defense Innovation Advisory Board.
The board already includes Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Alphabet Inc.; Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn; and retired Adm. William McRaven, the former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command who organized the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 4, Block B: Henry Miller, Hoover. WholeFoods: Whole Foods, aka "Whole Paycheck" & What is to be done? @HenryIMiller @HooverInst
"...The pressure ratcheted up with the disclosure in a securities filing Monday that activist investor Jana Partners LLC and several allies had amassed an 8.8% stake in Whole Foods and want the company to accelerate its overhaul and explore a possible sale.
Jana said in its filing it wants Whole Foods to more quickly adopt standard grocery-industry practices it long had eschewed: loyalty cards that would allow it to target shoppers with coupons based on their buying habits; centralizing product purchasing to improve efficiency; and advertising sales and discounts.
“We are confident in the actions we are taking to position the company for continued success,” Mr. Mackey said in a written statement Tuesday, “and we remain open to ideas to create further value for our shareholders and all our stakeholders.”
Whole Foods owned the natural and organic market for years, so Mr. Mackey was able to charge premium prices and didn’t need much promotion.
“When you average 8% same-store sales [growth] for 35 years, it can breed a sense of, ‘Why do we need to change? Things are working,’” Mr. Mackey said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Other grocers, however, got into the organics game at lower prices. Over the last 18 months, Whole Foods, which now counts 462 stores, notched its longest stretch of quarterly same-store sales declines since going public in 1992. It is down as many as 14 million customer visits over the past six quarters, according to Barclays PLC. Its shares have lost nearly half their value since peaking in 2013...."
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 4, Block C: Israel's Future Wars: Military and Political Aspects of Israel's Coming Wars by Ehud Eilam.
This book examines Israel's possible future wars in the upcoming years. It analyzes the strategic background and the nature of operations of those wars and concentrates on feasible future battlefields of Israel in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Sinai.
“Eilam’s work provides valuable context to the political and military issues that may shape Israel’s future wars. His analysis helps us understand the complexity of the conditions surrounding potential future confrontations in the Mideast. This well-informed study is a must read for those who wish to learn more about the challenges and risks facing Israel."
David A. Deptula, Lt Gen USAF (Ret.) Dean, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
“Israel's Future Wars is a remarkable work in the field, noteworthy for both its subject matter breadth, and its corollary command of very complex facts and materials. Each of the author's chapters deals with a particular military threat to Israel, but Eilam still correctly understands the possible intersections and prospective synergies between them…There is no doubt that Israel's Future Wars will quickly become essential reading for both academic strategists and Israel's military policy-planners and makers. This recognition will be well-deserved.”
Louis René Beres, Emeritus Professor of International Law, Purdue University.
“Read this book if you are interested in the future of the Middle East as Dr. Ehud Eilam takes the reader through a fascinating tour of Israel’s possible conflict scenarios… The insightful book will take you into the future of the most volcanic region in the world.”
Dr. Thomas Parker worked for the U.S. government in the past thirty years. He currently teaches security studies at George Washington University.
“In "Israel's Future Wars," Ehud Eilam, a veteran analyst of Israel's security and defense policy, provides readers with a glimpse into the future with an expert analysis of Israel's possible military operations against Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Syrian front, and Egypt. It is a must read for those interested in a better understanding of how Israel survives and thrives in one of the world’s most complicated threat environments.”
Matthew Kroenig is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University
“Israel’s Future Wars by Dr. Ehud Eilem is a compelling and thought-provoking discussion on the shape of the most likely wars or armed conflict Israel will plausibly face in the near future. Based on his extensive and exhaustive research and analysis Dr. Eilem has written an authoritative, comprehensive and fascinating book on the challenges Israel would face if it should go to war against a range of potential adversaries from terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas to Iran, Syria or Egypt or combinations thereof.
He combines his thorough research and analysis on the defense capabilities of Israel and the capabilities of its adversaries to create a highly believable and authoritative vision of what future wars in the Middle East could look like. This is also a useful book for military planners, policy makers and the concerned public.
As a starting point for defense planning the assessment of the future security environment is essential and Dr. Eilem’s assessments, worse case planning, and recommendations are important contributions to understanding and preparing for these threat scenarios.”
Guy B. Roberts, Colonel USMC (Ret.) Former NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General
Friday 14 April 2017 / Hour 4, Block D: continued