The John Batchelor Show

Monday 28 October 2013

Air Date: 
October 28, 2013

Photo, above: Yoyodyne is a fictional defense contractor introduced in Thomas Pynchon's V. (1963) and featured prominently in his novel The Crying of Lot 49 (1966). Described in the latter book as "a giant of the aerospace industry", Yoyodyne was founded by World War II veteran Clayton "Bloody" Chiclitz. The company has a large manufacturing plant in the fictional town of San Narciso, California. See Hour 3, Block C,  Bruce Webster, IT analyst & andstillIpersist.

Obamacare and the Oscillation Overthruster . There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. – Henry David Thoreau

There is a pattern I commonly see in troubled or failing IT projects, a near-constant oscillation over a period of weeks in the system’s readiness and/or stability. It appears for a while that progress is being made, and those in charge give optimistic projections for when the system will be finally ready to function as intended. Then, some new defects or problems crop up, and the project is delayed yet again. Depending on whether the system has actually been deployed, you can classify the fact pattern as “Faulty Towers” (if in production) or as “The Never-Ending Story” (if not in production), or sometimes a blend of the two (if in production, but so bad as to be nearly useless).  When you look at the history of such projects, here’s what you typically see:

- The project is approaching its current deadline/estimate release date.

- An all-out push is made to fix as many defects as possible

- A short period before that date — just a few weeks, or even just a few days — the deadline is slipped due to new or reappearing defects.

- Rinse and repeat.    [more]


Co-host: Patrick Chovanec, chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management

Hour One

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block A:  John Bolton, AEI, in re: Make no mistake: For Saudi Arabia as well as Israel, an Iranian nuclear weapon constitutes an existential threat. The dangers are as great for Riyadh as for Jerusalem, and very similar in nature: a religious conflict that has existed almost since the birth of Islam, ancient ethnic disagreements, and the continuing inability to establish stable conditions for regional peace and security. That is why, if necessary, the Saudis (and most other Gulf Arab states) would privately welcome an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The Arab governments will not say so publicly and, if Israel did attack, would likely join the international chorus of disapproval. But I for one would dearly love to see the private message that Saudi Arabia’s king would transmit to Bibi Netanyahu after a successful Israeli strike.  

      Saudi Arabia is essentially saying, correctly, that the Security Council, even after the Cold War, is unable to resolve crucial Middle Eastern issues. But beyond these regional issues, Riyadh has exposed the council’s larger problems—indeed, the paralysis that has crippled the U.N.’s political decision-making bodies from the outset and probably will forever. The Saudis have done us a favor with their unexpected frankness, and the Obama administration in particular would do well to remember their admonitions.  read this article online.

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:  Patrick Chovanec, chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management, in re: Lead story in Sunday @nytimes : Yellen #Fed committed to higher inflation.Taper gone.#KingDollar…

Also: Crash at Tiananmen Square Kills 5   A vehicle crashed into pedestrians and then caught fire on Monday alongside Tiananmen gate . . .

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block C:  Lara M Brown, political analyst and author; Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review & Pirates fan, in re: the dataset we thought was hacked this week. 

. . . The breakdown of the federal Web site could emerge as a test of Mr. Obama’s philosophy, with potentially serious implications for an agenda that relies heavily on the belief in a can-do bureaucracy. Michael Dimock, the Pew center’s director, said that the longer the problems persist, the more they could bolster what he called the “almost American value that government is inefficient.” . . .  [more]

Troubles with Health Site Could Serve as Test for Obama Flaws in the rollout of the online federal exchange could have serious implications for President Obama’s promise of a more efficient government.

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Sohrab Ahmari, WSJ, in re: @SohrabAhmari 

UPDATE 3-German paper says Obama aware of spying on Merkel since ...  Reports have said Obama told Merkel he did not know. Bild am Sonntag quotes "US intelligence source" saying he did. Merkel phone tap leak causes diplomatic incident. . . .

Hour Two

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: John Fund, National Review Online; David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent, in re: ACA; Valerie Jarrett's unusual TWEET IN SOLID CAPS, ASSERVERATING THAT NBC WAS INACCURATE. Fixing the Wrecked Website  It depends on the meaning of “fix.” Sixty Minutes story on Benghazi.  Terry McAuliffe running for Virginia governor.

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: : John Fund, National Review Online; David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent, continued

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Andrew Pollock, NYT, in re: What’s That Smell? Exotic Scents Made from Re-engineered Yeast  Genetic engineering to produce products that now come from rare plants holds great promise, but critics warn of harm to small farmers, among others.

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Gordon Chang,, in re: What looks like a VBIED in a car blew up in Tien An Men; the three in the carr diesd, as sdid two tourist. Thirty-eight wounded, not all of whom are expected to survive.  Were the drivers Uyghurs from Xinjiang ("New Territory") province?  The state apparatus has physically scrubbed the entire area, have not announced the event publicly, are trying to keep it a secret from Chinese citizens. Must be extremely nervous, as this looks like insurrection.

Hour Three

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Amb. Ron Dermer (@AmbDermer)   PM Netanyahu's full statement at the cabinet meeting today on #Iran and the #peace process @IsraeliPM

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, continued. PM Netanyahu began his remarks to the Knesset with, "I spoke with John Kerry in Rome."  Many convicted murderers are to  be released in an effort by the Israeli state to placate Pres Obama.   The families of the murdered young people are devastated.  Tunisia about to have new elections – a sterling chance for the US to encourage voting away from the Muslim Brotherhood, but the US is withdrawing en masse from the region.  Egypt – the most populous and important Arab state – is also abandoned by this US Administration.  Iran, Erdogan of Turkey, the MB, are all encouraged, see no downside to violent mischief. Egypt has been active in supporting Israel at the moment when the Sinai is overrun by malfeasants, to say it politely – notoriously cruel human smugglers, arms merchants, al Qaeda, Bedu who finally have a familiar environment in which to travel, Hamas's unsavory new friends, Bashir's agents with dirty business, and the like.

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  Bruce Webster, IT analyst & andstillIpersist, in re: Obamacare and the Oscillation Overthruster ; Obamacare and the Long Bomb

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Jed Babbin, American Spectator, in re:  Saudi Arabia's divorce from US foreign policy is due to Obama's actions on Syria, Iran, and pretty much every other corner of the world. This sets the stage for an Israeli attack on Iran in which we aren't involved.  The American Spectator : Soured Saudis Sulk Out

Hour Four

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Eric Trager, Washington Institute, in re:  This New Columnist for The New York Times Believes a 'Massive Zionist Organization Rules America'

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Fouad Ajami, Hoover & Wall Street Journal, in re:  A Lawyer Lost in a Region of Thugs     Lamentations about what has become of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East miss the point. The remarkable thing about President Obama's diplomacy in the region is that it has come full circle—to the very beginning of his presidency. The promised "opening" to Iran, the pass given to Bashar Assad's tyranny in Syria, the abdication of the American gains in Iraq and a reflexive unease with Israel—these were hallmarks of the new president's approach to foreign policy.

Now we are simply witnessing the alarming consequences of such a misguided, naïve outlook.

Consider this bit of euphoria from a senior Obama administration official after the Oct. 16-17 negotiations in Geneva with the Iranians over their nuclear program: "I've been doing this now for about two years, and I have never had such intense, detailed, straightforward, candid conversations with the Iranian delegation before."

In Iran, especially, Mr. Obama believed that he would work his unique diplomatic magic. If Tehran was hostile to U.S. interests, if Iran had done its best to frustrate the war in Iraq, to proclaim a fierce ideological war against Israel's place in the region and its very legitimacy as a state, the fault lay, Mr. Obama seemed to believe, with the policies of his predecessors.

In Tehran last November at the annual state-backed commemoration of the 1979 seizure of American hostages, a participant burned a caricature of President Obama.

When antiregime protests roiled Iran in Mr. Obama's first summer as president, he stood locked in the vacuum of his own ideas. He remained aloof as the Green Movement defied prohibitive odds to challenge the theocracy. The protesters had no friend in Mr. Obama. He was dismissive, vainly hoping that . . .   [more]


Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Resolve: From the Jungles of WW II Bataan, A Story of a Soldier, a Flag, and a Promise Kept by Bob Welch  (1 of 2)

Monday  28 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Resolve: From the Jungles of WW II Bataan, A Story of a Soldier, a Flag, and a Promise Kept by Bob Welch (2 of 2)

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