The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 21 May 2020

Air Date: 
May 21, 2020

Hour One
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 1, Block A: Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover and NRO and American Greatness; in re: Divides are red/blue, and lockdown vs let us be free. New York mayor has forbidden people to enter the ocean in the city under pain of police action; sent them to Long Island—which promptly refused the visits. In California, the lockdown is incoherent. Local small merchants are closed, but they can buy the same items in big box stores.   See that 99.996% of people will contract the virus; looks as though the people of decreeing they be locked in are those who collect a check no matter what (e.g., government employees).   What motive? To blame Donald Trump.  “Donald Trump is Herbert Hover” —which won't happen if the economy opens up now. Probably will be in ascendance by October. Other, local bureaucrats, fear they've been mocked; have lost people’s respect and their own authority. Now, massive civil disobedience. Voters want a can-do, let’s go attitude.  The point of levelling the curve was to avoid swamping hospitals. Only after it became clear that governors and their minions demanded that everyone stay home till a vaccine was found did rebellion begin. 
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 1, Block B:  Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover and NRO and American Greatness; in re: Judge Sullivan. Brutal abuse of power.  Will we deprived of the satisfaction of learning who was at that meeting and what occurred? The president apparently ordered that people surveille the next president.  The FBI asserted: there was no evidence of any crime.  “Russia” was a code-word for Crossfire Hurricane. Great fear that the new Administration would come in and find evidence of [illegality and malfeasance]. Joe Biden was at that meeting. He owes the American people an explanation of what he thought was going on. Do you expect Joe Biden to give a rational explanation?  No; I think he’s the only one who was there who in fact doesn’t remember.  Cognitive diminution.   American people don't want to elect someone in a fetal position. Amy Klobuchar has been asked if she’ll accept being vetted for the vice-presidency. 
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 1, Block C:   Conrad M Black, in re:  The US presidency since Ronald Reagan: mediocrity. Adequate, but not leaders.  Reagan was fortunate in responding to a perforated lung and a bullet an inch from his heart: he walked into the ER and said, “I hope you’re all Republicans.”  He was a hypnotic speaker; said the  bureaucracy was corrosive , the taxes too high and international policy was appeasement instead of acknowledging that the USSR system was evil. Led to the most bloodless strategic victory in the history of the world when the USSR simply evaporated. The Eleventh Commandment is not to attack another Republican; he was often funny, never nasty.
George Bush Senior was sort of continuing Reagan but [had no charisma] and achieved nothing domestically; lost 20 million political votes.  Ross Perot: no excuse for that. Then Bill Clinton, missed h USS Cole and Aden and Sudan; brought Mexico into the Free Trade Agreement which was [a disaster] ; who spectacularly missed the jihadists. So much that G W Bush didn't enter thinking that was important. He was not a leader. Left us with a war that still remains.   Into war with Iraq, trying to turn Iraq into a democracy like Connecticut—which was insane. 
Reagan was Hollywood, but also the consummate gentleman.   Trump is a strong leader, but impulsive and sometimes indiscreet.  Hostile verbosity, but his record of doing every single serious thing he promised is unmatched.
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 1, Block D:   Conrad M Black, in re:  Peculiar approach of the national media to leadership. Standard of leadership under FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, was exceptionally high. Reagan [accomplished a great deal,] but was much disparaged by media elites. Trump said he was running for [people who had no real voice]—who, Obama said, had an excessive reliance on Bibles and firearms.  That Russian collusion definition was a fraud from A to Z.  Why ad hominem against leaders?  A human tendency in a way; but it’s not directed against liberals—a straight economic and cultural bias. Trump was a slightly garish character . . .
Hour Two
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 2, Block A:  Max Rose, in re: Privilege to put the uniform back on and help any way I could.  Standing up a Covid hospital on Staten Island  . . .The Never-Again legislation in Congress.  GOFor a while we got flat-footed, thought anti-Semitism was in our rear-view mirror, ut not. Increase penalties fo hate crimes, crack down on white nationalist neo-Nazi terrorist movement, and such. The hatred is thousands of years old and it ain’t going away.  Extend the arms embargo against Iran.  Those who think the world is a safer place when Iran has nuclear arms, and more humane when it transfers arms to Hezbollah and the Houthis.   Isolationism is naïve. If you retreat from war, war will find you.
Max Rose is the Representative for New York’s 11th Congressional District, representing Staten Island and South Brooklyn. He currently serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Max is the first post-9/11 combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to seek and hold office in New York City; he earned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge, and continues his service today in the National Guard.
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 2, Block B:  Michael Knights, in re: PMF future role in Iraq's security infrastructure.
Michael Knights is a Boston-based senior Fellow of The Washington Institute, specializing in the military and security affairs of Iraq, Iran, and the Persian Gulf states.
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 2, Block C:   Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Iranian cyberattack on Israel tried to disrupt water supply. Then shipping at an Iranian port came to an unexpected halt, to clarify what would go wrong if Iran pulled that again.  Israel could knock out electricity in Iranian cities if the escalation continues.   It’s necessary to respond quickly to Iran’s attacks.  Said that 10 thousand health workers are ill with the virus. UAE sent a direct Etihad flight to Israel to convey medical supplies to the Palestinian Authority, which rejected them in disfavor of the flight. Daraa in south Syria, which early on demonstrated to separate itself from Assad, but Assad’s troops rounded them up and slaughtered them. Scene of massacre after massacre. Today: a military build-up; Syrian troops now free, with Iranian-backed militias, to return to Daraa with skirmishes daily. Army personnel attacked daily; nine killed n a village. Near the border with Jordan  and Israel.   Anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War: Jerusalem Day.  Second anniversary of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 2, Block D:  Seth Frantzman, in re: Libya, Syria. Secretary Pompeo: airstrikes against Iran.  Shadow war: ran retaliates with cyberattacks, and verbally. There have been a thousand airstrikes and few killed.  In 2018 Turks shot down a Russian plane. 
Seth J. Frantzman is executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis. A former assistant professor of American Studies at Al-Quds University, he covers the Middle East for The Jerusalem Post and is a writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of After ISIS: How Defeating the Caliphate Changed the Middle East Forever.
Hour Three
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 3, Block A:  Sebastian Gorka, America First radio, in re: he Biden campaign has asked Amy Klobuchar to accept the vetting needed for her to become a vice-presidential candidate.  She’s from the Midwest, which Biden needs; but most unexciting. We have here two vice-presidents.  Doubling down on “safe.”  Videos of people in Pennsylvania when the president visits—such excitement.   Michigan:  The governor has created difficulties for herself.   President definitely has the Q factor.  The affection is a function of authenticity. Not understood by the elites.  He’s still the kid from Queens whom voters connected to in 2016, and still do in 2020.
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 3, Block B:  Sebastian Gorka, America First radio, in re: China in the South China Sea. China respects strength, which is what Trump has. This election will be measured on: who is going stand up to China? The man who’s been friends with China for 30 years—the man whose son got $1.3 bil from the CCP for his fledgling hedge fund?
The Susan Rice memo, 20 Jan 2017; agreement among the known characters to use the US national security apparatus against a citizen, General Flynn. And now the judge who’s delaying the DoJ direction, and today’s writ of mandamus (an order to do your job).   Bill Barr always choses his words very carefully; like a surgeon’s scalpel. We owe it to history to see that this never happens again. Only way to do that is to have complete transparency, including for our successors in a century or two.  There are two considerations: immoral, and illegal. 
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 3, Block C:  Richard Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover; in re: The Hero’sAct.  Biden campaign moved from “return to normality” to: New Deal Green Deal. Will try to shut down fracking; that’d play well in New York and California, but not in Western PA.  Biden is a man of utterly no intellectual convictions, whatsoever. 
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 3, Block D:  Richard Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover; in re:  Of the 15,000 deaths, eight were under 18 and seven had pre-morbidities. Zoom and the like will shift behaviors. 
Hour Four
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 4, Block A:  Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus, in re: responding to the virus? Bailouts—airlines,  with their executives having long faces and looking tragic.   Bailouts never work because the government cannot pick winners.  And guaranteed to have more bailout demands next time.  Always presented as “we absolutely need these airlines.” In fact, if they again go through bankruptcy, and a few go over and out—there’ll be plenty of airlines again in the near future.   Eastern, Pan Am, dozens have left the scene and new ones always pop up.  Why should we maintain current airlines’s creditors at Chase, Goldman, all around? 
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 4, Block B:  Lt-Col Tim Wilson, senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, retired British Army officer and proud American citizen; in re: Gun manufacture and use in the US and other nations.
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 4, Block C:  David Adler and Don Branitz,  in re: restoring American manufacturing from China.
       David Adler is author of the monograph, The New Economics of Liquidity and Financial Frictions, and coeditor of the forthcoming anthology, The Productivity Puzzle, both published by the CFA Institute Research Foundation.
       Dan Breznitz is the Munk Chair of Innovation Studies and codirector of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of the University of Toronto. He is also a Fellow of CIFAR, where he codirects the Program on Innovation, Equity and the Future of Prosperity. His next book, Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World, will be published in January 2021.
Thursday 21 May  2020   / Hour 4, Block D:  David Adler and Don Branitz,  in re: restoring American manufacturing from China. China grew its MRI industry by requiring all Chinese hospitals to buy locally-manufactured eqpt.