The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Air Date: 
May 19, 2020

Hour One
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 1, Block A:   Gregory Copley, Defense and Foreign Affairs; in re:  Turkey’s relations with Russia are filled with mutual distrust, even hatred. Turkey deceives itself into believing that others respect it.  Turkey blusters. “Heads we go global; tails, we liquidate.”  The Ottomans [created their empire by stealing] the Eastern Roman Empire. The vulnerability of the Turkish system. Not as bad with Covid-9 as in other countries, but there’s still considerable loss of life, and great underreporting. It's used the crisis as another means of suppressing its local population; came along at a good time for Erdogan because of economic failings and heavy-handedness of the regime. In a sense, it’s bouncing along at the bottom: the virus has stopped tourism and real estate investment, which are serious.
Erdogan has said he can trade his membership in NATO for membership in the Chinese- and Russian-run Shanghai Cooperation Agreement, although that wouldn’t much help him.   Erdogan’s Turkish Natl Intell  (MİT) supports the East Turkestan separatist state in Xinjiang. Beijing therefore is distrustful of Turkey; although it’d like to work with Turkey and Iran.  Both Iran and Turkey are fearful of Kurdish irredentism. Otherwise, they're competing rivalries in Syria.
Iran wants the Alawi to run the country and has made them honorary Shi’a. Moscow knows that it has Erdogan firmly in hand, even as he tries to drive the dagger in; Turkey supports Serbia, which is critical to N-S-E-W travel, riverine, into the Adriatic. 
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 1, Block B:   Gregory Copley, Defense and Foreign Affairs; in re:  Erdogan as the sultan of the emirate; his assistants in the great Ankara palace actually refer to  him as Sultan.   He believes everyone is his enemy; doesn't see how Turkey is regarded. Ataturk changed the Turkish language from Arabic script to Latin, in order to integrate into the West; much as the Shah wanted to integrate into the West.
Erdogan in Xinjiang. Libya, Yemen; using his MİT around the world, was entangled in the Flynn prosecution in Washington.  He hates the Egyptians, who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood. Now he’s in Ethiopia, and Sudan. Russians don't underestimate him but keep him on a tight leash.
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 1, Block C:   Joseph Humire, Secure Free Society, and Fernanda Maria Cabal, Senator in Colombia; in re:  Said to be three tankers from Iran through the Suez Canal en route to . . . Venezuela? Cuba?  Iranian foreign minster ahs said that if the US interferes, that would  be reckless.  Gasoline shortage in Venezuela. Gold bars transferred out of Caracas. Eighteen flights of Mahan Air have taken gold bars fro Caracas to Iran.  The Petunia may arrive around 25 May, and he others soon hereafter.  Concern is what they may be carrying to Venezuela— WMD? . If it's all about fuel, I suggest Iran send it to Mexico, and thence to Venezuela. Could be a sort of Cuban missile crisis redux. In Colombia we don’t see to much reporting on this, but we find it dangerous.   Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador is a socialist like Chavez; same agenda that destroyed society but changed the name. AMLO’s economy grew less than 1% GDP; in the second year, about the same. Today, they need to open—now may be opening construction, mining, and automotive.    In Colombia we were growing 3.5%.
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 1, Block D:  Fernanda Maria Cabal, Senator in Colombia; and Joseph Humire, Secure Free Society, in re:  Peru: early on, the govt responded swiftly and strongly to the virus; reports of people fleeing Lima for the interior.  Many are refugees going to areas that have been clean of the virus; needs special attention to why there are so many cases there. Peru, Panama and Ecuador have highest rates: all have coastal cities, with high rates of tourism.  Bukele, young president of El Salvador.  The Economist asks if he’s the first Millennial dictator.  Recall that he emerges from an authoritarian background in a criminalized country He could be like a leader who could [affect] the heart of the people. 
Hour Two
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 2, Block A:  Elizabeth Peek, TheHill and Fox News; in re: Stock markets have recovered about halfway, and oil is improving. Oil mkts are self-correcting. Stocks rose because there was nowhere else to go. Now, tens of millions out of work. Thirty per cent bounce off the lows.  Walmart: online sales up 70%. The Fed’s balance sheet is up 60% over the last two months.  Most important market driver: all states reopening. 
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 2, Block B:  Elizabeth Peek, TheHill and Fox News; in re:  Washington’s mood to continue to pour money on the American people. Mrs Pelosi’s bill devoted a lot of money to marijuana businesses and other preposterous insertions; it wasn’t taken seriously. GOP wants to limit liability for employers and businesses in opening up again; not to let them be sued if an employee get sick: not for big businesses, but for small ones. GOP also wants to see a payroll tax cut as a stimulus measure.  Block grants: conceivably up to another trillion dollars, but probably less. Democrats are threatening to lay off teachers and firefighters; Newsom said he’d  first  lay off first responders. By the fourth quarter, I think the economy will be growing nicely again.
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 2, Block C:  Joseph Sternberg, WSJ editorial board; now in London; in re:  How our cousins across the pond have responded to the crisis. So far, 55,000  deaths more than normally.   Many care-homes (nursing homes) deaths.  . . .  Speaking poorly of the EU response; Barnier snaps back.  Same situation as before the virus.  Post-virus, Boris Johnson seems to be tilting more toward Trump than Xi.  Many people saying, If we couldn't trust China about medical information, what can we trust it for? Pols don’t respond well to Trump’s brash style or very personal tweets. 
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 2, Block D: Joseph Sternberg, WSJ editorial board; now in London; in re: Roses in Regent’s Park?  Not visible yet, but soon.  Rules on pausing ten minutes between speaking with Mum and Dad in the park.  Strong urge to get out and about again. Remarkable that people held on for as long as they did. Time to move into the next stage. Italy: celebrating Mass in churches; cafes and restaurants opening.  Any talk of decentralizing the City? Yes, and will happen around the world; encourage people to work at home. 
Hour Three
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 3, Block A:  Scott W Atlas, Hoover and Stanford, in re: How the virus threat is received by politicians and officials.  We’ve achieved a flattened curve of hospitalizations early on. In New York City, still very much closed down.  The end of May is a bit long; Officials made decisions based on fear rather than [medical focus].  There was never hospital overcrowding in the US except in New York City. Now, ERs are laying off people because the public is afraid to go.  Paralysis of surgery and medical care. Half of needy Americans are not getting cancer care; 40% of new acute strokes not coming into ER. Two-thirds of cancer screenings not occurring,  Most childhood vaccinations not happening as parents are afraid. There never was, nor could be, stopping Covid infections entirely.  Half of people are asymptomatic.  The lockdown should have been in nursing homes. An unconscionable tragedy. Worse than bumbling.  Overall fatality of this disease is so low until you get to elders and vulnerable. Look at numbers from France, Spain, Netherlands and the US: lower than the regular flu for those under age 60. Care homes/nursing homes not protected from asymptomatic caregivers.   When you enter a nursing home with a patient not infected, there are people in there who are infected.  Entering a tinderbox.  Waiting seven weeks to address this—there’s something wrong with that judgment.
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 3, Block B:  Scott W Atlas, Hoover and Stanford, in re: Lessons learned through the weeks of the crisis. Schools in New York and London are shut; reopened in Israel. We have not given the appropriate assurance to parents of how [undangerous] this disease is to children: .02%.  Of 15,00o+ NYC deaths, only 8 were in people under 18, and all but one were due to underlying causes.   A child has far greater risk from influenza than from Covid-19.  Zero scientific basis for separating children in schools, and less for preventing them to engage in summer activities. Covid-19 is extremely low-risk for people under 18.  The facts are contrary to the evidence.
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 3, Block C:  Robert Zimmerman,,  in re: Shocking NASA resignation: Turf war? Doug Loverro, the head of NASA’s manned spaceflight program who was brought in seven months ago to replace the fired William Gerstenmaier, has abruptly resigned. Read Loverro’s resignation letter here.  SpaceX delays Starlink launch to put manned mission first
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 3, Block D:  Robert Zimmerman,,  in re: China has invested in WorldView, firm that want US military contracts.(From June 2019: Capitalism in space: Worldview has successfully completed a sixteen day flight of its Stratollite high altitude balloon)
Hour Four
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 4, Block A:  Larry Johnson, Sic Semper Tyrannis; in re: Susan Rices’s memo from her last day in office: now completely declassified by Acting DNI Rick Grennell.   . . .  Special Collections Service.
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 4, Block B:  Jed Babbin,  former United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, RealClearPolitics, and author, in re: DJI Robomaster S1, $549 wheeled drone:  in Python language, outsourcing programming skills—and China is reaping the benefits of civilians’s research on this.   . . .  this could become a real robot on the battlefield.   . . . the Confucius Institutes are controlling part of the syllabus on campuses. This is the Bund. 
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 4, Block C:  Bill Whalen, Hoover Area 45 podcast; in re:
Tuesday 19 May 2020   / Hour 4, Block D:  Simon Constable, reporter from Edinburgh, in re: The virus in Scotland.  Nicola Sturgeon maintains its lockdown orders for all of Scotland.  Deaths concentrated in a care house (nursing home).  The Care Inspectorate decided to “take a lighter touch” as the virus hit. Also terrible in England, Wales, the USA. In Scotland, extreme caution about re-opening.   Talks of lessening the lockdown soon: all right go to golf courses and recreational fishing, but what’s needed is to be able to go to work. The mental toll is huge. Mental  health problems while stuck at home, including children.