The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Air Date: 
April 16, 2013

Photo, above:  The reality of the barbarism.  Boston, Monday 15 April 2013.


Co-host: Larry Kudlow, The Kudlow Report, CNBC; and Cumulus Media radio

Hour One

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Larry Kudlow, in re: An envelope containing ricin was sent to the Capitol Hill office of Sen. Roger Wicker, lawmakers said on Tuesday.  Ricin is a poison derived from the same bean that makes castor oil. According to a Homeland Security Department handbook, ricin is deadliest when inhaled. It's not contagious, but there's no antidote.  The letter to the Mississippi Republican was intercepted at an off-site mail screening facility and never reached the Hill.  Shut down the Capitol.

The market sold off yesterday way before the bombings – gold's decline, et al,; but it came back today. Everybody is still trying to figure out the Boston bombings.  Sell-off in gold indicates that the dollar is stronger; also the QE is no longer effective. Gold plunging – long overdue.  U to $1,900 in 2011 was based on catastrophic assumptions: end of the US economy, of he dollar, of the euro.   None of this happened.  CPI fell a bit; one of the flaws in the gold argument was htat the money supply would drive up inflation; gld as an accident waiting to happen.  Gold collapsed from $800 to $25 in the 1980s. Gold down is good: people wd rather invest their money more productively.

 Boston Marathon Bombing: Congress reacts, Dems talk sequester—With the Boston Marathon bombings less than 24 hours old, some on Capitol Hill are beginning to say the attack shows why Congress should’ve stopped automatic spending cuts from taking hold in March.

Tuesday  26 Feb  2013 / Hour 1, Block B:   Sudeep Reddy, WSJ, in re:  manufacturing, jobs, unemployment, trade.  Vital Signs Chart: Applications for Unemployment Benefits  Jobless claims are at a five-year low. Initial claims for unemployment compensation fell 42,000 last week to 346,000, reversing. We seem to have stabilization in some metrics – sounds boring, but beats employers' shedding jobs rapidly; we're apparently out of the nose dive, although there's not enough new hiring yet.   US exports to Europe are rising.

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 1, Block C:  Gregory Zuckerman, 
Special Writer, Wall Street Journal &
author, 'The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-The-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History,  in re: Gold Plunges as Fears Over Inflation Fade
  Gold posted its biggest one-day percentage drop in 30 years Monday as new signs of a global ...  LK: This  gold play – the world didn’t come to an end, and the gold plunge is overdue. GZ: Too early to be sure if Bernanke has won. John Paulson. LK:  The Fed is buying all these bonds to create reserves – which are not being used. All this money is being neutered,, so why should you buy gold?  Is Paulson losing a fortune?  GZ:  Its hard for him to get out of this – he may go down with it, He has [everything] in gold. Suppose he sells now  - bad – then gold rebounds.  Gold ETFs? I'm not an expert.  LK: Oil has come down some, but not near as much as gold. Will it?  GZ: my view has been that the world will embrace shale oil. I would not be long oil.  If China is slowing, so will commodities – Australia, Canada. Can we link the sell-off in gold to the moderation of the dollar to growth?  LK: Yes. Oil: the US might even wind up running a trade surplus.  If you go to 70, what does the world economy look like? Oil is a good proxy. Boone Pickens.

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Steve Moore, WSJ, in re:  Walden's Ploy
GOP Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon bucks the leadership on Social Security reform.

Hour Two

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  . Edward Hayes, criminal defense attorney par excellence, in re: Boston attack: no substantive information yet on the perp.  Reports of a low-level IED, with pressure cooker, nails and ball bearings; a low-level, domestic, off-the-shelf explosive, not military grade. Can learn all this off the Net. Eddie and John Batchelor were on air together on 9/12/2001. Bad info often surfaces: Boston police chief said that there'd been an explosion at he JFK School – inaccurate; plus a handful of other incorrect reports.  All we really have now is the mention of a shredded backpack. The only time you have cowboy police work . . .  The  backpack may contain DNA.  My guess is that the police know a lot that they're not selling. Recall Faisal Shazad, who built a series of bombs, packed them in a van in Times Square; was interrupted, left keys in the car, fled. NYPD worked carefully and caught him at the airport on his way to Dubai.   9/11 was filled with misinformation.   Yesterday: bang. Thirteen seconds later, a second bang.

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Bill Whalen, Hoover, in re: GOP May Need a Wild Card to Unseat Brown (Sacramento Bee)

 Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  . Charles Pellegrino, author and explorer, in re: Titanic with Carpathia with Boston with 9/11.  National news phenomenon overwhelms all news events and schedules: the tragic opera takes the stage and dominates. Californian captain, Stanley Lord, saw Titanic's emergency rockets, falsely signalled that it had no telegraph, refused to stop to rescue stranded Titanic passengers - some of whom were standing on ice – an raced toward Boston rather than participate in the rescue. 

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The Californian Incident (Californian was one of the ships near Titanic, called "the mystery ship," and its captain, Stanley Lord, failed to heed the emergency calls) in a few weeks will be the entry point to a whole interactive Titanic site, with "You, the Jury." Will put the 90-page book on JohnBatchelorShow . com for free download. May be on Amazon soon. Those who wish can contribute $5 to one of three charitable causes - the N.Y. Firefighter's Burn Center, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (in honor of Walter Lord), or Doctors Without Borders - and they will be entered in a lottery to receive one of the inscribed coffee cups that Jim Cameron and Charlie Pellegrino left tied and pressure-shrunk, 2.5 miles down, as they toured the stern section of the Titanic, the debris field, and the bow section on September 10, 2001.

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Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Eli Lake, senior national security correspondent, Newsweek/Daily Beast, in re: Inspire magazine, Yemeni al Qaeda affiliate's publication: "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom" article.  Pressure cooker bombs, among others.  Another such recipe in The Anarchist's Cookbook.  Also Croatians and others are familiar with this.  Since this can all be seen on the Net, could be any group anywhere; in any case, looks like a lone wolf.  Nasser Abdo, at Fort Hood, arrested o explosives charges; busted, found the Inspire magazine instrux.  Faisal Shabad also used a pressure cooker.   Chairman McCall of House Security Committee admits to being concerned at the  few clues so far acknowledged. Ammonia nitrate can be bought easily (although one hopes the feds are tracking it).

Al Qaeda’s Recipe for Pressure-Cooker Bombs.  Officials are reporting that the Boston bombs were placed in a pressure cooker, a tactic used by the terrorist group. That doesn’t prove a link, but it raises important questions. A key component of the bombs used yesterday in the attacks on the Boston Marathon resemble the kind of homemade bomb al Qaeda has encouraged English-speaking terrorists to use.  The Daily Beast has confirmed with U.S. counter-terrorism officials that the bombs placed Monday at the marathon were made from pressure cookers, a crude kind of explosive favored by insurgents in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A recipe for a bomb that uses the pressure cooker was part of the debut issue of Inspire, the English-language online magazine of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. [more]

How North Korea Tipped Its Hand  The U.S. recovered the front section of the rocket used in North Korea’s satellite launch in December, which gave away the status of the regime's nuclear-arms program.  When North Korean engineers launched a satellite into space December 12, it seemed like business as usual, with the familiar cycle of condemnations from the West and statements of defiance from the Hermit Kingdom. But that launch also led many U.S. intelligence analysts to assess that Pyongyang possessed the ability to miniaturize the components necessary to yield a nuclear explosion for a crude warhead that would sit atop a ballistic missile.  [more]

Hour Three

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Larry Johnson, NoQuarter, in re: reports the two Boston bombs were IEDs, low-grade explosives, laced with shrapnel ball bearings, nails. Pressure cooker, shrapnel, clocks, electrical tape, all found in Mr Abdo's residence in 2011.  Croatians who highjacked a plane in the 190s. New Delhi newspaper writing of Lashkar-e-Toiba, under control of Pakistani intell svcs; used by Muslim extremist groups and also Maoist groups. Two proximate explosions have been a calling card of al Q and its adherents, although it's not a definite indication.  Sophisticated: surveilled area, carried two 15-lb bombs, set them so as not to attract attn, set timers accurately, exploded the devices.  Even if the person who carried this out has fled overseas, we're now in apposition to mount a global hunt and find him.  At horrible cost, awakens the 900-lb gorilla. Good cooperation between local and federal officials. Historically there have been interagency strains to the point of fist fights. The information coming in is similar to trying to drink from a fire hose; here, the FBI is essential.   Explosion was not military grade; not syntax. Cd be ammonium nitrate or triacetate triperoxide (TATP), calling card of the al Q folks – can make it in yr apt, but Ramzi Yussef burned his home in Manila. Smoke suggested an improvised device.  Lone wolf: one competent individual who planned, too much care to see how the race would be lined up; built at least one set, if not more, of bombs, and tested some; then blt the final product. Required at least one person, although could be more. 

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  Gordon Chang,, in re: "Hostile Western sources," says Xi Jinping about recent events in the South China Sea and the US attitude to North Korea. China is worried at the fact that the world is turning against it, fails to see that everyone is reacting to China's belligerence. Maoist outlook; The US is the principal enemy – and Washington is tone-dearf to this new rhetoric. Blames the US for Senkakus, tension on the Koran peninsula – everything. Xi misses the fact that the last thing the US wants to do is pivot, and is trying to contain bellicosity.  US is trying to get the South Koreans to exercise restraint – which it's afraid to do because it’s not clear that the US will defend it. "Greedy, hostile, terrible Americans" is all Beijing sees.   XI returns to the 1950s. A failing Chinese economy turns to nationalism; is caught in a self-defeating feedback loop. Problem for everybody, incl  Vietnamese and all Chinese neighbors, since China wants all their territory.  China calls us all "splittists' – since Tibetans and Uyghurs and others want freedom.  Xi look at Taiwan and wants it as a province.  

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"Similarly, Cold War deterrence theories won't necessarily work against regimes that are irrational in our terms. Bernard Lewis famously said ofIran that “mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent; it's an inducement” for the mullahs to reach the end of times. And if Pyongyang sees the world through a Hitler-in-the-bunker mentality, or simply miscalculates, deterrence is unlikely to work with it either.

Recognizing that Tehran and Pyongyang are not rational in our sense will not alone resolve the threats posed by their nuclear-weapons programs. There are unfortunately far too many other variables involved. But better understanding the nature of our adversaries should at least help us learn from the mistakes we have repeatedly made in trying to stop them."

Read this article online.   --John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN; senior Fellow at AEI.

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Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re:   U.S. WAS WARNED OF TERROR ATTACKS Look for trail through Sri Lanka, Bangladesh

Tuesday 16 April   2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   David M Drucker, Roll Call, in re:  Roskam Tax Day: ‘Comprehensive’ and ‘Immigration’ Won’t Fly in House  What are the prospects for an immigration overhaul in the House? Are Republicans relishing another debt ceiling showdown with President Barack Obama?

The House Chief Deputy Majority Whip Peter Roskam, Illinois Republican, opens up about those subjects and others. As co-chairman of the House Korea Caucus, Roskam also offers his thoughts on the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. And he doesn’t mince words on his opinion of the president’s leadership. Asked Roskam, serving his fourth term in suburban Chicago’s 6th District, that most basic of constituent questions: Cubs or White Sox?   Also, on an immigration overhaul, what’s more likely, comprehensive legislation or running an overhaul through in pieces?

New York Times: "The biggest test will come for those Republicans who support the bill and will have to convince their skeptical Senate colleagues, constituents and grass-roots conservative base -- not to mention Republicans in the House -- that the legislation is not a reward for people who broke the law by entering the country illegally

Hour Four

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  James Taranto WSJ, in re: From Roe to Gosnell  The case for regime change on abortion. 

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Jed Babbin, American Spectator, in re:

The Pentagon budget announced by Hagel last Wednesday is as much a fiction as the Obama budget it's tied to.    The American Spectator : Dusty Springfield’s Pentagon Budget

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re: Putting its money where its mouth is: Russia under Vladimir Putin has announced a big financial boost from its government to its semi-private space industry.  Want to go to Mars? You better get in line. Dennis Tito’s project already has hundreds of volunteers.  I still have doubts that this non-private company can pull this off by 2018, but only by 2018. Given a bit more time and research, the obstacles for sending two humans on a fly-by of Mars can easily be overcome. Alan Boyle has some more information on SpaceShipTwo’s most recent test flight, and the rumors concerning the ship’s first powered flight.

Tuesday  16 April   2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   John Tamny, RealClearPolitics, in re: The falling gold price signals a rising dollar.  Of huge importance to the health of the U.S. economy, it points to a migration of investment away from the slow-growth inflation hedges of yesterday (housing, land, rare art, stamps, commodities), and into the stock and bond income streams of tomorrow that will create the wealth of tomorrow.  When gold spiked in the '70s and '00s, the economy sagged.  In the Reagan and Clinton '80s and '90s, a falling gold price led to powerful growth.  $1400 gold still represents a very weak dollar, but it's an improvement that if left alone would boost the economy.    $1400 Gold: A Bullish Signal Amid a Bearish Presidency

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Hour 1:  Knight and Day

Hour 2:  Dexter; Cowboys and Aliens

Hour 3:  Green Zone; Shaolin; Skyline; Knight and Day

Hour 4:  Michael Clayton; Star Trek; Transformers