The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Air Date: 
April 23, 2013

Photo, above: Woodstock, 19 August 1969: 500,000 people cheek by jowl for three days with nary an argument. Tsarnaev brothers and their ilk: health, joy, amity, cooperation are all haram.

In memoriam, Richie Havens, January 21, 1941 – April 22, 2013.  Becky.

Richie Havens, a Brooklyn-born singer who sang gospel as a teenager, began playing folk music in Greenwich Village clubs in the 1960s and was the opening act at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969, died Monday of a heart attack at his home in Jersey City, N.J., according to his agent. He was 72 years old.   Havens had a long career as a musician, but if he had done nothing else, his performance at Woodstock would secure his place in American music history. Havens was the first performer to walk onto the stage at the festival; he sat on a stool and performed for nearly two hours — including an improvisation that incorporated the spiritual "Motherless Child," later called "Freedom." It became a highlight of the documentary about the festival and introduced him to audiences around the world.


Hour One

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, in re: Chiheb Esseghaier's Facebook page featured the black banner of al Qaeda until this morning; Bill Roggio has a screenshot of it.   'A senior police official said two suspects involved in a plot to blow up a train received "support from al Qaeda elements located in Iran." A Linkedin page of one of the suspects displayed al Qaeda's black banner.'  Outsized, outlandish, extravagant kind of attack that jihadis come up with when they live in North America; historically, planes, Madrid trains, London. Detroit on Christmas Day – they often want to cripple movement cause fear and panic, with economic impact.   This fellow is hypereducated; be curious to see just what his plan was. Canadian National Post: he was born in Tunis, went to Canada in 2008 on a student visa. Given permanent residence under Skilled Worker Program ("biotechnology lab" + physics backgro9und).  Jaser: brought into court wearing a black skull cap.  Had been told he'd have to leave school because of mad behavior; all the warning signs were here – everyone sees them and ignores them.   RCMP says ties to both al Qaeda and Iran.

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:     Michael Auslin, AEI & WSJ op ed, in re: the "peaceful rise" of the PLA, the military that reports to the Chinese Communist Party (is not a civilian-controlled military). PLA has dramatically strengthened its position in the last decade – a criticism of Hu Jintao, as his weakness encouraged this. Xi Jinping is trying to be more assertive to avoid being challenged. In Diaoyutai/ Senkakus, he's led.  The recently-issued PLA white paper says that the US isn’t trying to stabilize, or satisfy its allies; rather, is guilty of meddling where it's not wanted.  About the Obama Administration's putative pivot: China not happy because it means he US won’t just pick up its marbles and leave East Asia; however, PRC mocks the pivot. PRC wants Japan back in its box, not be a regional player or a reliable partner to the US anent Korea or Taiwan.  Main fear is that Japan gives the US an unsinkable aircraft carrier.

PLA platoon cut across the border from China to India in Ladakh – and even now is camping on Indian territory.  Must be part of a larger plan; test & probe responses, send out fishing boats and, here, a platoon. Do same thing to the US by harassing US ships, shooting down US satellites and watching for response.  PRC has an astoundingly paranoid worldview: see themselves as isolated, as the injured party.

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Beijing's paranoid worldview
Michael Auslin 
Wall Street Journal Asia
 April 18, 2013  When Beijing released its defense white paper on Tuesday, official Chinese media hailed the document as a milestone in government transparency. The report, the first of its kind since 2011, is certainly clarifying--but not just because of its dry recitation of China's defense activities and structure . . .

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Joseph Rago, WSJ editorial board & Pulitzer Prizewinner, in re: HEALTH CARE Embarassing Obamacare  Highlight the failures and offer an alternative.   Max Baucus, ACA primary architect, has decided to retire: last week, he had a heated exchange w Kathleen Sibelius denouncing his own handiwork: This is about to be a train wreck. Baucus said small businesses have no idea what's entailed in the Act as it heaves into place this autumn. We’re careening toward it implementation October with major sections not yet drafted.  Small businesses can’t figure out "regulatory afflatus." Once you hire your 51st employee, what cost does that impose on your business s model? Businesses are hiring many more part-time workers in order to stay under the threshold. CEO of a restaurant came into WSJ ofc: when you're a franchisee, you don’t have a lot of margins; regs like this make or break establishments. Sibelius to Baucus:  ____.   They didn’t do the planning they were supposed to for political reasons; now they're heist by their own petard.

It’s too early to know how much individual health insurance policies will cost once the online marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act launch Jan. 1. But that hasn’t stopped experts and interest groups from making predictions.The latest analysis comes from the Society of Actuaries. It’s attracting attention because of the group’s expertise and nonpartisanship. What actuaries do for a living — predicting future expense based on multiple squishy factors — is at the core of figuring out what will happen under Obamacare. Thanks to subsidies and the requirement that everybody get insurance or pay penalties, the society forecasts that the number of people covered by individual polices will double to 25.6 million by 2017. Getting the headlines was the forecast that insurer costs — medical claims per policyholder — will soar, on average, 32 percent for the individual market in 2017, with wide variations among statesThat’s not the same thing as saying prices consumers pay for policies will rise 32 percent. But if claims are higher, insurers generally charge more. Opponents of the health overhaul seized on the figure to suggest the law could really be called the Unaffordable Care Act. The Obama administration says the study leaves out factors that will restrain what plan members actually pay, including more competition among insurance companies.  [more]

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Kori Schake, Hoover,  in re: The president has just delivered his budget for the coming year; it doesn't include sequestration; does have $150bil for ______.  This is [regular] money, does not include funds for wars (Congress's prerogative).  Includes tax increases that'll never be agreed to ; increase US debt relative to the economy, and gets back to where we are now in 2013; defense cuts are all backloaded to the last five years. The $50bil/yyear question. Congress asked Gen Dempsey; he said, "we can execute the budget for the next five years."

Hour Two

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  . Larry Johnson, NoQuarter & Current Affairs, in re: Boston bombers: Parents living in Daghestan; Tamerlan  visited here and Chechnya – tracked by Moscow. Highly doubtful that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar learned bomb-building only on the Internet. Explosives may have been fireworks bought in New Hampshire  Not understand how the Russians were focused on Tamerlan in 2010 then gone mute the next year. Dzhokhar shot himself in the mouth to commit suicide - powder burns confirm that - but he didn't hit the spinal cord; for a suicide bomber, noticeably incompetent. Might be that the Russians were trying to use Tamerlan for one purpose, whereas Tamerlan used circumstances for another. 

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

The Bizarre and the Unanswered Issues Surrounding the Tsarnaevs and the Boston Marathon Bombing   By Larry Johnson, Current Affairs

A desperate media scrambles for a new story on the terrorism bombing of the Boston Marathon and is coming up with a hefty dose of garbage and misinformation. Example? Spreading the nonsense that this attack was ginned up solely on line by Tamerlane and Dzokhar, who reportedly read Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine and decided to launch the bombings. That is total, utter rubbish.  Follow the timeline. The Tamerlane turn to radical Islam did not start until after July 2009, when he was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. That event subsequently led to the US Immigration and Naturalization Service to reject his application for U.S. citizenship. Without the citizenship ticket his boxing career was at a dead end. Guys who boxed with him in Worcester have told a close friend of mine, as well as some reporters, that Tamerlane’s mood and countenance darkened in 2010. That’s when Tamerlane made the sharp turn to radical Islam, probably with help from his mom.

It is important to follow the timeline for the whole Tsarnaev family. Tamerlane’s Mom traveled to Dagestan/Chechnya in the 2011/2012 timeframe. She returned to the Boston area sometime before June of 2012. How do we know? She was arrested for shoplifitng in June of 2012.  Tamerlane goes to Russia in January 2012. Now that we know that his dear mother was already over there, his trip makes more sense. Here is what we do not know–did Mama Tsarnaev’s trip to Dagestan come before or after the Russians called the FBI to report their concerns about Tamerlane? That is a critical question.  Because Tamerlane’s mother was the first member of the immediate family to become a fervent Muslim, which included her own decision to wear the hijab, it stands to reason that Tamerlane turned to his mother in 2010, who helped facilitate his entry into the world of Islamic extremism. Moreover, she had to be the one who introduced Tamerlane to the person or persons who ultimately put him in touch with the jihadists who taught him how to make explosives and build improvised explosive devices.  Here is the bizarre–the Russians identify Tamerlane as a potential terrorist problem in 2011. So why did the Russians not do anything to detain or question Tamerlane when he returned to Russia in Janaury 2012. It is not because the Russians lack computers with identifying information. They absolutely do have such systems. And then there is the icing on the cake–Tamerlane leaves Russia after spending almost six months in country and neither the Russians nor the United States thinks twice to detain and/or question him.

Dzokhar reportedly told those questioning him that he and Tamerlane learned to build bombs by reading the Al Qaeda Inspire article. That is total horseshit. Tamerlane may have read the piece, but he had to do more than simply follow on-line instructions. It would be highly unusual for someone like Tamerlane to build effective devices without the chance to do some field testing. Between his return to the United States in July 2012 and the Boston Marathon bombing, Tamerlane had to go somewhere to test the explosives and devices he built.  And Dzokhar? A complete incompetent. He tried to kill himself on Friday by putting a pistol in his mouth and pulling the trigger. The bullet went thru the back of his neck but missed the spinal column. He did not know even the basics of committing suicide with a handgun. Dzokhar certainly planted bombs his brother built and, like his brother, is a murderer and a coward. But he is neither a mastermind nor a witting tool of foreign Islamic extremists.

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Charles Pellegrino, author and explorer, in re:   Titanic inquest.

 Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Tuvia Tenenbom, author, I Sleep in Hitler's Room, in re:  in an effort to interview neo-Nazis in Germany and ingratiate himself enough to be received, Tuvia gave a Heil Hitler salute in Magdeburg, which is illegal in Germany.  After a sequence of events, Tuvia was arrested by German police for engaging in an anti-Jewish deed. Prosecutor received results of police investigation months later; still waiting for his determination.  Because Tuvia gave the salute on TV in front of millions of people it’s not exactly ambiguous. Problem, is, Tuvia is emphatically Jewish, Israeli.   In Buchenwald, where Jews were gassed, turned into soap, had their skin used to make lampshades, the current director of the Buchenwald Historical Assn, "Prof. Dr." Volkhard Knigge (the honorary titles are merely that)  wears a T-shirt proclaiming The Uganda Club: refers to a Nazi proposal that Jews be deported to Uganda. When Tuvia reported this in his book, Knigge threatened the German publisher to prevent this datum from being printed.  At the 68th anniversary of opening of Buchenwald to the world, Knigge gave a lecture not about Buchenwald or about the war; rather, his entire tirade was to condemn Tuvia as a liar. Bizarre.  Tuvia now awaits the determination of the prosecutor as to whether or not Tuvia Tenenbom is a neo-Nazi.

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Michael Tomasky, Daily Beast, in re:

Hour Three

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:   LouAnn Hammond,, in re:  Shanghai car show. The Great Wall Motor Company will build a Chinese SUV.   BYD: 49% owned by Warren Buffet, selling some fleet vehicles; will bring over a plug-in hybrid in 2015.  Chairman Wang is No. 77 9roughly) of the richest men in China. E6 hatchback: electric. Ching car is a four-door plug-in hybrid; will sell in the low 20s. Toyota: supply chain damaged + conflict in China.  Will sell inland, not along eastern corridor; will sell to young Chinese people/ Ikeda-san at New York auto show: "Some difficulties remain; will expand, but perhaps more slowly in light of politics."  GM in China. The last emperor was driven around in  Buick, so zillions of Chinese people wan a Buick. The entire marque is coming back because of China – gull wing Riviera. Chrysler has jeeps – Chinese people want jeeps and SUVs. No one wants to ride on public transport with avian flu on the upswing. May sell 30 million cars a year in 2020.

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Automotive News China quoted Great Wall Motor Co., China's largest SUV maker, that it expects to begin selling SUVs in the United States around 2015, making it the first Chinese automaker to enter the American market in volume, the president of the company says. The automaker is also actively exploring whether to build SUVs in the United States. "Since the United States is far away from China and its import tariffs on vehicles are not particularly high, we would prefer to build the vehicle locally," Wang Fengying told Automotive News China on Sunday at the Shanghai auto show.

To date, the only China-made model sold in North America in volume is the Honda Fit marketed in Canada. BYD has exported 11 electric-powered e6 hatchbacks to the United States as part of a pilot program.   Toyota Motor Corp. doesn't expect sales in China to fully recover before autumn this year as antipathy lingers among the country's consumers toward Japanese brands. "Our original expectation was for sales to come back in half a year, but now our plan is to push harder after our new product introductions in the fall," Hiroji Onishi, Toyota's China head, told reporters in Shanghai on Sunday. "We'll be focusing more on inland areas and also the younger generation."  General Motors unveiled the Buick Riviera concept Friday at an event in Shanghai, calling the gullwing two-door car a preview of Buick's future look. The concept's waterfall grille -- which is integrated seamlessly into the vehicle's wing-shaped daytime running lights -- is likely to be the signature look for Buick production models in years to come.  Chrysler Group's new-generation Jeep Cherokee is the "obvious choice" to become the first Jeep built in China in six years and could double the brand's sales in the world's largest auto market, Jeep CEO Mike Manley said. Jeep, which became the first western auto brand built in China in 1983, may resume Chinese production by the end of next year at a plant in Changsha, Manley said Saturday in an interview at the Shanghai auto show. The Cherokee on display at the show will go on sale in China at the end of this year as an imported vehicle, he said.

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  Bret Stephens, WSJ, in re: GLOBAL VIEW  The Evil in Boston.  In Jerusalem in 2004, when the No 19 bus exploded, Bret was living very nearby and immediately went there. He say what it’s really like to see human bodies ripped apart, shredded by ball bearings and nail, body parts scattered in blood.   US is now focused on geopolitical aspects; we need to focus more on the pure evil of these deeds.  A Boston physician noted that the injuries here were almost all from the waist down. In the bus bombing, a contained space, it charred and shredded more people. Carnage that stays in your mind forever, elucidates the evil of it.  "The brothers loaded the bombs with nails and ball bearings with evil aforethought. When they put shrapnel in, they were intending to aim; took weeks or months how to do this. Hard to imagine a purer form of evil than that.  . . .  Two young men taken into this country and offered everything – and they respond with this. There can be no forgiveness."

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:   Robert Zimmerman,, in re: space tourism

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:   Henry Miller, Hoover, in re:

Hour Four

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Michael Swirtz, NYT, in re: No Safe Haven in America By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ After the suspects in the Boston bombings were identified as being of Chechen origin, Chechens in the United States said the attack had left them feeling

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:  Sue Craig, NYT, in re: On Wall Street, Time to Mend Fences With Obama By SUSANNE CRAIG and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE With the presidential election over, Wall Street titans who supported Mitt Romney now face the prospect of having to mend fences with the Obama administration.

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Eric Trager, Washington Institute, in re: POLICYWATCH 2070 An Agenda for Secretary Hagel in Egypt

Tuesday  23 April 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Jeff Foust, Space Review, in re: Two months ago, a meteor exploded high above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, causing damage and injuring more than a thousand people. Jeff Foust reports on the latest insights into exactly what happened that day and its implications for looking for and understanding the threats posed by near Earth objects.

..  ..  ..


Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Hour 3:

Hour 4: