Tuesday 14 July 202
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 1, Block A: Joseph Sternberg, WSJ political/economics columnist for the editorial page, in re: The virus in England. Is a repeat shutdown/lockdown feasible? Governors Cuomo and Newsom are threatening exactly that. Britons are watching that with interest: what trajectory might the virus take? England, Scotland, Wales (Great Britain) and Northern Ireland. Also, considerable economic ties between Britain and the US. Governor Cuomo has veered into a sort of pop art with a [ghastly] green foam simulacrum of a mountain to represent the trajectory of the virus in New York State. In London, is it said that returning to work is critical for the country? Yes; the government emphasizes that—but for months was demanding that everyone stay at home to avoid danger, which militates against return.
UK retail sales returned to growth in June, boosted by online, food and furniture spending, indicating that pent-up demand from the Covid-19 lockdown could help struggling stores as they reopen. Retail sales increased by 3.4 per cent in June compared with the same month last year, the first expansion since the lockdown and the fastest pace of growth since May 2018, according to data compiled by advisory services firm KPMG and the British Retail Consortium, an industry body. https://www.ft.com/content/48a05152-25f2-44dd-a23d-c6da26256e73
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 1, Block B: Joseph Sternberg, WSJ political/economics columnist for the editorial page, in re: Life in London in summertime. Mandatory to wear face coverings in shops as of 24 July. Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announces a fine of £100. Initially, masks were said to be of no use; now they’re mandatory. Conflicting reports are unsettling. Bastille Day: generally positive feelings between England and France, especially concerning tourism.
Life in London in summertime. Mandatory to wear face coverings in shops as of 24 July. Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announces a fine of £100. Initially, masks were said to be of no use; now they’re mandatory. Conflicting reports are unsettling. Bastille Day: generally positive feelings between England and France, especially concerning tourism.
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 1, Block C: Gregory R Copley, The New Total War of the Twenty-first Century and the Trigger of the Fear Pandemic, in re: What does China look like on the other side of the pandemic? The PRC has been engages with this new form of warfare against the US and its allies for he last decade; now escalating rapidly. Just as Xi announces that the new thirty-years war is launched and the US must accept the inevitable rise of China, we see that it’s not only not inevitable, it’s over. Xi has endeavored to make sure that Trump isn't re-elected in 2020; that project is over, as the Chinese economy has been going downhill for ten years but the pandemic plus the panic in the global market show that China’s huge rise will not occur in our lifetimes The CCP has been so appallingly dishonest that Chinese people no longer believe it. Translates into unrest. Escalating natural disasters: unremitting flooding, plus a half-dozen or more earthquakes. The very Three Gorges dam is damaged and could give way. Also famine: if they don't import more than they produce, famine in the land. It's all related and accelerating in its impact. Polluted ground water produces pollute crops. Millions of tons of grain rotting. China must import massive amounts of food, demanding more than can be delivered.
Xi tried to attack the real threat of India’s refusing to let China steal land to create the land bridge it wants. PLA tried to intimidate India, which sent a million troops. Tried to intimidate Taiwan, which failed [and much irritated the Taiwanese]; and Hong Kong will cost them a great deal of money. The crackdown may sever HK activism from the Mainland, but has rightly alarmed Taiwan.
And Then, What? Looking Beyond China and the Virus
Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs.1 Some things totally new await to challenge us beyond the threat of war between the People’s Republic of China and its rivals. Beyond COVID-19 and the economic crisis we allowed it to engender. Beyond the looming US elections which affect us all.
Yet we have not thought of this novel world awaiting. For many, it holds promise.
We are conditioned to respond to the threatening stimuli which surround us. Would that it were a mere choice between “fight or flight”. Instead, the response is often paralysis, craven acceptance and subservience, or a resort to what worked last time.
The greater and more complex the threat and activity which surround us, the shorter-term and closer our view becomes. In days darkened by urgent fears, we barely see nightfall, let alone tomorrow. Next year is another world. Our ability to reason lost.
For much of humanity — and particularly in the United States itself — the great fear is over the turmoil and distraction which always accompanies the build-up to a US presi-dential election. It is not an event which is isolated from the rest of the world. Whatever room remains in us for other fears and concerns in 2020 seem overwhelmingly directed at the fate of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its boiling war with the US. And the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis and its socio-economic ramifications. And what these great intertwined events will mean for the world.
But after that, what? Will the world — after the US presidential election, regardless of its outcome — transition to a flatlining calm? Or burst into a new phase of internal US pre-occupation with factionalism?
Few, however, are asking the other leading question: after China, what? Implicit in this, as well, is “after COVID-19, what?” Indeed, everything passes, and everything is con-nected. Everything has consequences in the continuum of time and space. So why not ask the question which demands that we raise our heads above the parapet to gaze into the future? Not even far into the future: Can the People’s Republic of China survive? Rather, can the Communist Party of China (CPC) survive in control of China?
The PRC, to a far greater degree than the US, is approaching a watershed in its history. And the “China watershed” may occur before the US election watershed. This was emerging into clarity by the middle of 2020.
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 1, Block D: Gregory R Copley, The New Total War of the Twenty-first Century and the Trigger of the Fear Pandemic, in re: Russia is the pacing threat, the threat against which the US must pace itself (Pentagon locution). Putin has consolidated power more than almost any tsar. However, Russia is derided for its weak economy; DoD respects it because it’s regaining power that it lost during the end of the Cold War, which long had an economy about the size of the Netherlands’s. Now its doing better than in 1990. Russia is using its defense thinking far more efficiently than it did under the USSR; far more sophisticated and polished. It has a global capability more than any other country, well past China. Russia has global-reach strategic weapons, incl global hypersonic glide, forcing the US to develop countermeasures. These must be cheaper than the Russian eqpt or the defender will go broke. Cyber- and submarine warfare—Russian technology is excellent. Are Syria and Libya where Russia is testing against asymmetrical warfare weapons? Yes. More important: testing troops and doctrine, and bldg alliance structures. Russia is there to nullify its ally, Turkey. Does Moscow regard Beijing as sturdy? No. Russia, India and the US look like the last men standing.
Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs. There are sound reasons why the United States defense establishment regards Russian military forces as the “pacing threat” to the US, despite the fact that the US gross domestic product was, by 2019, some12.6 times that of Russia.1
The disparity in economic terms between the US and the USSR approaching the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union was, in reality, even greater than the disparity in eco-nomic headline figures of 2019. Despite this, the US had no hesitation in the late Cold War period in identifying the USSR as the primary existential threat — the “pacing threat” — to the United States and the West. Post-Soviet Russia is today substantially more strategically capable in many ways, and more flexible than was the USSR at its height.
Russia, more than the People’s Republic of China (PRC), has significant global reach and capability, even if the PRC seems to have demonstrated the most visible threat in-tent against US interests in recent years.
Defense planning must always be against capability, rather than intent. Intent can change in an instant; capability change takes years. And the concept of a “pacing threat” is designed to recognize that reality, rather than to judge the hostile intent of a foreign power. Yes, the Cold War demonstrated that the size differentials between the US and the Soviet economies was one of the ultimate determinants in the ultimate col-lapse of the USSR. As a result, the economic disparity between today’s United States and Russia implies that a direct, strategic-level kinetic confrontation between the two remains improbable on the face of it.
But the reality is that total war in the 21st Century implies a more amorphous field of strategic maneuver, with minimal direct military contact and more indirect maneuver. It is still not inconceivable that the US and Russia will need to find common ground in the foreseeable future. It is probable that, at some stage, the US must attempt to split Russia, strategically, from its alliance-of-convenience with the PRC, in the same way that the initiative by US Pres. Richard Nixon exploited the Sino-Soviet rift in 1972.
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 2, Block A: Elizabeth Peek @LizPeek, TheHill and Fox News; in re: Is his a “crazy rally,” in lieu of a wall of worry? Yes; and massive cash on he sidelines. Fear of losing out as the market goes up; confusing to [neophytes]. Treasury and Fed stoking the market; powerful. “Don't fight the Fed.” Many are surviving on the extra $600 per week over unemployment insurance. States that are rolling back opening. Increase in cases but no real increase in fatalities; most new cases are young people. Problem: Fear, probably misguided. Q2 earnings are dismal. Fatalities are ’way down, almost all of people over age 75. Media simply push fear.
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 2, Block B: Elizabeth Peek @LizPeek, TheHill and Fox News; in re: The Cancel Culture. The letter that appeals for tolerance, as dissent is not getting a fair hearing. The signatories were denounced because one of the had been denounced; now the denouncers of the denouncers of the denouncers are denounced. It's striking. Both left and right oppose this mob, which is facilitated by social media. People are denounced because of a tweet from years ago; it's scary. The most scared are Trump supporters Goya CEO denounced for praising Trump while he was in the White House. Supermarkets have been bought out of Goya products. The left always goes too far. New York mayor has cancelled all outdoor gatherings except leftist protests. Not being able to say that you support our president is absurd.
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 2, Block C: New World Report. Joseph Humire @jmhumire, @securefreesoc, and Senator Maria Fernanda Cabal @MariaFdaCabal, in re: Virus—defense, economic and foreign ministers in Bolivia. In Brazil: FT says it's overwhelmed by false reports about the virus. They go out over Whatsapp. Does this spread into Colombia? Yes, spreading everywhere. Example of how to promote fake news, impact human perception—manage it and distort reality. It’d be good to study exactly this. Bolsonaro, Trump, other presidents: everyone who fights the left is treated worse by media. . . . Colombia judicial system is too fragile to prosecute [overtly dishonest information].
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 2, Block D: New World Report. Joseph Humire @jmhumire, @securefreesoc, and Senator Maria Fernanda Cabal @MariaFdaCabal, in re: . . . AMLO visited Washington; am skeptical of his partnership with the US. However, he’s also close to a Maduro/Russia/China network; signing deals with China as he signs a deal with the US. He belongs to the Chavez leftist club; will destroy Mexico’s economy, don't know how it’ll recover.
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 3, Block A: Henry Miller @henryimiller, Pacific Research Institute, in re: The virus
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 3, Block B: Henry Miller @henryimiller, Pacific Research Institute, in re: The virus.
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 3, Block C: Harry Siegel @harrysiegel, New York Daily News and Daily Beast, in re: Bill DeBlasio, demanding federal money, paints huge BLM street mural in front of Trump Tower. Cuomo dasn’t talk much about NYS nursing homes. May write a book on how good he was. Published a weird poster. Unhinged? I’ve had some real doubts about our present leadership. Vacancy tax on empty real estate, a pied-a-terre tax, and a commuter tax—to raise capital? (“Not enough.”) Revenue taxes will stop global investors from using New York City as a shelter. Some storefronts are left vacant for years—deeply unhealthy for the city. If you can afford to have a second residence here, you can afford the tax.
CUNY long was free; thereafter, the prices and costs rose steeply. New York’s best and brightest attended historically, entered with no connection, usually worked part-time; many went on to win Nobel Prizes and other major awards. Were one of New York’s most significant natural resources.
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 3, Block D: Bill Whalen: @Hooverwhalen, Hoover, in re:
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 4, Block A: "Mr. President": George Washington and the Making of the Nation's Highest Office, by Harlow Giles Unger
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 4, Block B: "Mr. President": George Washington and the Making of the Nation's Highest Office, by Harlow Giles Unger
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 4, Block C: "Mr. President": George Washington and the Making of the Nation's Highest Office, by Harlow Giles Unger
Tuesday 14 July 2020 / Hour 4, Block D: "Mr. President": George Washington and the Making of the Nation's Highest Office, by Harlow Giles Unger