The John Batchelor Show

Saturday 21 July 2012

Air Date: 
July 21, 2012

Ai Weiwei with his Sunflower Seeds at Tate Modern – a sackful of the seeds are to go on sale at Sotheby's. Photograph: Fiona Hanson/PA

JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW podcast link: 

Saturday 905P Eastern Time:    Herb London, president, Hudson Institute, and author of The Transformational Decade: Snapshots of a Decade from 9/11 to the Obama Presidencyin re:  Iran; European and US responses to Iran's clearly-stated goal of dominating the greater Middle East;

Saturday 920P Eastern Time:   Keith Fitz-Gerald,  chairman, Fitz-Gerald Group, Chief Investment Strategist for Money Map Press; in re: Nouriel Roubini has been talking about the end of the world for a long time; fiscal cliff, slowdown in earnings; Asia; euro – this is a time in the Sun for doom and gloomers. I've been pessimistic since 2008; LIBOR exacerbates; only Mme No – Mrs Merkel – has her head on straight.  But [if you're an investor] you have to be in the market.  This is jet fuel in search of a match. Dollars have been neutered by Team Bernanke. When everyone says blood in the streets – it’s time to buy. Historically, in the market there's a statistical predisposition upward, so buy when it looks worst. Invest cautiously: companies with fortress managements,  excellent balance sheets. There are three fiscal cliffs,  incl the fact that politicians don’t understand theoretical limits to debt.  A year from now, or some time in the future: from crisis comes opportunity. It's hard to digest, but we'll be in an era of golden investing once all the mess is removed. The requisite upheaval could be political, or social, or economic. If the 535 people inside the Beltway got busy instead of posturing, we'd be on our way.  Team Bernanke and the world's central bankers refuse to let the pipes get cleaned. Need a realignment of financial mkts; the quicker the work, the better.  Natural resources, inflation-resistant fields, energy, and medicine are all places to look at investing.

The company has had the U.S. Olympic team deal since 2008. A men’s team shirt costs $425 and a woman’s skirt $498. The beret that makes the athletes look like recruits for the U.S. Special Forces and a T-shirt each cost $55

Saturday 935P Eastern Time: Alan Tonelson, Research Fellow at the U.S. Business & Industrial Council and author of The Race to the Bottom, on the Olympics uniforms and China trade.  The problem is created by trade agreements that the US signed two decades ago; treaties that all but guarantee that well-paying US jobs will fly out of the US. Need 40% or 50% tariff on all currency-manipulators whose products are coming into the US; stipulate that all work practicable to be done in the US, be done here. Free trade, as it's established at present under he current regime, is destructive of US economic and esp of growth.

Saturday 950P Eastern Time: Andrew Ng, Director, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab & co-founder of Coursera online courses; Daphne Koller, Stanford & co-founder of Coursera; in re: Internet-based, university-level training. One professor can teach 100,000 students at a time. 

Saturday 1005P (705P Pacific):  Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, in re: China and Syria. "China's been going on a bender recently"; vetoed the resolution on Syria to clarify their determination to support tyrannies, fell beleaguered by the disappearance of the USSR, the Soviet bloc, their allies in Burma, et al; then suddenly Arab revolutions – they feel lie the last man standing.  In 1989, largest pro-democracy demos in history, which they crushed bloodily, and now there's unrest in China today. If they lifted the lid a bit, think how much more there'd be. Deep insecurity. Had to understand precisely what animates China's foreign policy. Their PLA Navy is madly aggressive; imagine if there were a firefight somewhere: it could spread rapidly, destabilize the region. The US has no idea what it would do in such a circumstance. If there were another massive uprising, not clear that t h military would be willing to slaughter hundreds of thousands or millions of citizens. The tides lapping up upon their borders from Central Asia and other places have the leadership reacting irrationally.  They’ve never really figured it out, have always operated hierarchically, are clueless about a world of equals.

Saturday 1020P (720P Pacific):  Charles Ortel, in re: Newport Value Partners. Forty days till Spain runs totally out of money. Worse than 2008, and Spain's situation is dire. They'll have to default - capital flees Sppain, eiurozone see assets marked down, adding t their distress, and the social welfare state cannot work with as many expensive people as they have. Angela Merkel - "It'll all be fine" - seems to have been graduated from the Alfred E Newman School of Economics. The half-life from restructuring announcement to public disbelief is shorter and shorter. Bond vigilantes will sharpen their knives. For he US: not an ordinary year, is an epoch-defining year - not al the world economies can hang together and win; we may have to go it alone, Cannot prop up dysfunctional govts in 38 countries - it's wealth -destruction. Need to streamline govt here, reduce tax code, take critical steps. Our current leaders won't fix this faster than external events will take control.  Like 1938? Rather, is it the interest of the US (the Fed) to support the European debacle? Absolutely not. Need to stop bailing out other countries - now, need to bail our our own cities and states.  There's a world glut of labor. Europe will splinter. Our enemies are watching; some will strike hard. 

Officials claimed that Ai Weiwei’s studio bild in a grape field did not follow land use regulations /Photo via Duyanpili. All rights reserved.

Saturday 1035P (735P Pacific):  Walter Shapiro, political analyst, in re: then-and-now comparisons with Selling of the President.

Saturday 1050P (750P Pacific):  Alison Klayman, director of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, in re:  Ai Weiwei.

Saturday 1105P (805P Pacific):   John Clarke,, in re:  the Olympics

Saturday 1120P (820P Pacific):  Mark Clifford, author of Through the Eyes of Tiger Cubs, in re: the young generation in Asia, especially concerning Asian identity

Saturday 1135P (835P Pacific):  Maura Moynihan, Radio Free Asia,  in re: her trip to Dachau and its parallel with Tibet.

Saturday 1150P (850P Pacific):  R. Jay Magill, author, Sincerity, in re: How a moral ideal – that of sincerity  – born five hundred years ago inspired religious wars, modern art, hipster chic, and the curious notion that we all have something to say (no matter how dull).

Saturday/Sun 1205A (905 Pacific):  Catherine Lotrionte, Director of Georgetown's Institute for Law, Science and Global Security, in re: cybersecurity

Saturday/Sun 1220A (920 Pacific):   Loyalty: The Vexing Virtue by Eric Felten

Saturday/Sun 1235A (935P Pacific: Jessi Hempel, Fortune Magazine & co-host of Fortune, in re: Brainstorm Tech

Saturday/Sun 1250A  (950P Pacific):   Exeunt.

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Music (hours of EDT broadcast)

9-hour:   Persia, Fast and Furious, Legion, Artificial Intelligence

10-hour: Syriana, Beethoven (Streichquartett, op.131), Underworld, Flying Daggers,

11-hour:  Syriana, Legion, Valkyrie, Texas

12-hour: iRobot, Mission, Frost-Nixon

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