The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Air Date: 
July 23, 2013


Picture, above: Floating Cities (8 Ways Magnetic Levitation Could Shape the Future - How Maglev Technology Works) See: Hour 2, Block B,  Charles Pellegrino, author and explorer, in re: maglev and hyperloop. Our planet can be a crowded, polluted, crazy place. But a new design concept proposes that we rise above it all, literally, by moving to a magnetically levitated island in the sky, complete with green forests, mountains, and urban centers. The concept, called Heaven and Earth, was created by the Chinese architect Wei Zhao and won an honorable mention in eVolo's 2012 Skyscraper Competition. Zhao has proposed that the massive donut-shaped platform could hold magnets on its underside that would repulse the Earth's magnetic field to hold the island aloft. The floating platform would rotate, generating energy as it spins and theoretically fueling a completely sustainable society. Unfortunately, like most utopias, this idea is likely to remain a pie in the sky.  [more]


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

Hour One

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Larry Kudlow, in re:  IRS, Mr Issa and the Obama Administration. Fog descends on the investigation, points to William Wilkins, chief IRS counsel (April 2012 mtg at White House; then two days later, a new set of tax exemptions), is strangely connected to Carter Hull.  May need a special counsel to empanel a grand jury to get to the bottom of this.  Don’t even know how the guidelines changed. Hull says Lois Lerner directed him to send out the revisions.  Note that MR Wilkins is a political appointee, not a typically nerdy tax accountant; lobbyist, donor and fundraiser for Dems; once defended the Rev Jeremiah Wright over some of his speech that was about to lose his church's tax-exempt status.  Was Hull really six layers  below the White House?  Seems a bit unlikely. Sumer of 1011, a Lois Lerner mtg in the IG's report; IG had a rep there, who must have reported back. Problem was that Republican and Tea Party groups were not only not granted 501(c)(3) status, but were held in limbo for two years until the election was safely past.

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 1, Block B:    Sudeep Reddy, WSJ, in re: Rumor that Larry Summers will be new Fed head – both to check public sentiment, also to see what possible better names might emerge. Summers and Obama were in intimate professional association for several years. When he was at Treasury for Robt Rubin was much more conservative than later, as Obama advisor.  Obmama wants loose interest rates – wd get this with Yelin or Summer; and having intl background (also both); inside the Fed you get powerful intl experience, which Summers also got in hedge funds. Volcker was unpopular but highly competent. Wd Summers be more of a hawk or a dove?

Detroit Mayor Doesn't Rule Out Federal Bailout
.Detroit Mayor Dave Bing on Sunday left the door open for a federal bailout after the city's bankruptcy filing, saying the nation's response would "set a benchmark" for aiding other struggling cities.   Recap: Bernanke Faces House Lawmakers
  Fed Chairman Bernanke starts a two-day visit to Capitol Hill to address whether the economy is growing fast enough for the central bank to rein in stimulus.

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Joseph Rago, WSJ editorial board & Pulitzer Prizewinner, in re: Gets Worse for Workers  The O’care mandate delay adds to their woes.   Officials Pressed on Security, Fraud Risks in Affordable Care Act ...   Obama administration officials assured Congress on Wednesday morning that the technology undergirding Obamacare will be ready on time.  Local business owners preparing for Affordable Care Act mandates, despite delay   Even though employers now have until 2015 to provide health insurance for employees under federal law, some local business leaders are

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Michael Boskin, Hoover, former Chairman of President's Council of Economic Advisors; is in San Francisco at a gathering fro Gov Chris Christie; in re: the $40 trillion is estimated unfunded liabilities for unfunded mandates -- Medicare and Soc Sec.  Several times the regular natl debt.  Taxes wd logically reach 60% on a broad swath of the economy; reduce future income growth by 20%  for a generation or two.  Disability is one-fifth of Social Security, growing extremely rapidly: population grew 60%, no of people on disability ha quadrupled. Will cost $300 bil till people on disability reach normal retirement age & transfer to Soc Sec.  Agricultural and construction and mining work much diminished plus criteria for eligibility have been vastly increased. Twenty states shift people from unemployment to disability and Medicare because the federal govt pays for them.  Need to have program return to original intentions – more reasonable, objective eligibility criteria; also better re-evaluation methods. Combine these with giving info and options early in disability so people can see how to get  back in labor force.

Hour Two

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  Claudia Rosett, FDD, in re: Ernesto "Che" Guevara.   UNESCO deifies the writings of Che Guevara.   . . .  In 2004, the author Paul Berman gave an excellent summary of Che’s character and career: “Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster. Many of the early leaders of the Cuban Revolution favored a democratic-socialist direction for the new Cuba. But Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution’s first firing squads. He founded Cuba’s 'labor camp' system — the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents and AIDS victims.”  UNESCO determines what constitutes a cultural treasure; venerates Che; has just added his writings to World Heritage collection. Nominations came from Cuba and Bolivia, run by two of fogies who favor Stalinism – which is part of why they enjoy Che.  The head of UNESCO is a former Bulgarian apparatchik who's trying to get re-elected to her UN post and to overturn US law withdrawing funding to UN filials that receive the PLO. UN Watch: "Yes, we have executed people . . .  and shall continue to as long as it's necessary."  Shows that thugs who like to execute people are still riding high at the UN. The UN as a whole runs on US money –billions – and now raises and installs Che Guevara at the behest of Cuba and Bolivia; it's ugly. It may be old and dusty rad chic – but the reality behind it is the repression you see in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and the like.

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Charles Pellegrino, author and explorer, in re: maglev and hyperloop. Train tram from Los Angeles to New York at 4,000/hr using maglev [magnetic levitation] technology; London to New York in one hour and fifteen minutes.  Need to produce the tunnel system; theoretically, could have such trains travelling around the world, could go underwater, track the curve of the Earth under the Atlantic and achieve _____ and actually be travelling upside-down.  The technology is not new. Could even grow the tunnels. [?]  Old New York subways had vacuum tubes, like the pipes along the ceiling of old departments stores.  Such systems are susceptible to terrorism. The Rockies would be a problem, The issue is thousands of miles of evacuated tube  - tunnel with no air in it. See: Elon Musk, of Tesla; a hybrid of maglev with air pushing behind.   Abt $130bil Boston to DC for (old maglev); Musk's version is much cheaper. "I like their path to get around the drilling through the Rocky Mountain's problem. An implodable tube has to be made very resistant to hurricanes and quakes - but hardest of all to protect against: terrorism."  All the avant-garde thinkers are speaking of mining asteroids; we'd need to get there.

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Simon Lazarus, Constitutional Accountability Center senior counsel, in re: Delaying Parts of Obamacare: 'Blatantly Illegal' or Routine Adjustment? The GOP says Obama's decision to postpone implementing the "employer mandate" stomps all over the Constitution. It doesn't, and here's why. Heckler vs Cheney: Exec Branch's discretion to bring proceedings; timing of implementing fed statues; not the same as delaying a regulatory program.

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Michael Riley, Bloomberg Businessweek, in re: Can Silicon Valley's favorite carmaker, Tesla, win over the rest of the world? Elon Musk's rapidly expanding electric car empire has worked hard to overcome consumer objections, including cost and battery life, and with sales of the Model S luxury sedan booming, the company has finally turned a profit.  The next phase of Tesla’s growth is going to be exponentially more challenging as it introduces lower-priced models and aims to simultaneously become the next Ford Motor and ExxonMobil—to be a profitable, mass-scale manufacturer and fuel distribution network. Ashlee Vance of Bloomberg Businessweek reports on how Tesla must perform “that delicate dance of staying cool while trying to build its brand beyond the West Coast.”     TAO: Tailored-access operation, where expert govt hackers get into the right computers. What Snowden released: unknown to many organizations, but well-known to almost all states.

Hour Three

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 3, Block A:   Larry Johnson, NoQuarter, in re: Russia says U.S. hypocritical on Edward Snowden   Politico Russian officials are pushing back against U.S. calls to hand over NSA leaker Edward Snowden, saying the U.S. routinely ignores  Russian . . . Edward Snowden marks month stuck in Russia airport, and a week since he applied for asylum.

Is Snowden about to become a refugee in Russia?  Sergei Golenko: US regularly refuses to extradite criminals guilty of heinous crimes.

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 3, Block B: eff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: "The Golden Gate Yacht Club did not act in good faith when it rejected the application of the African Diaspora Maritime Group."  Since these contests cost $100 mil or more, as laudable as this group is, it appears not to have the totality of qualifications. Also: KTBU, a Fox affiliate – read a list of what was supposed to be the Asiana flight crews, but it was vulgar, obscene and racist.  Only a summer intern at the NTSB has been fired. Asian-American Journalists Assn has found that he list was sent through several levels before being read aloud. Bay Bridge: The western approach, to Yerba Buena, after a $600 mil upgrade is now having shock-absorber problems, needs at least another $13 mil. 



With Focus on African-Americans, Team Sues for Chance to Challenge  At best for organizers of the America’s Cup yacht race, a lawsuit by a would-be American team of sailors is just another unwanted episode for an event riddled with a range of missteps and calamity.  The Golden Gate Yacht Club did not approve any U.S. challenges to Oracle Team USA.   At worst, it could severely delay September’s finals, international sailing’s main event.  The suit claims that the Golden Gate Yacht Club, holder of the trophy and the host of this year’s race, did not act in good faith in 2011 when it reviewed and rejected the application of African Diaspora Maritime, described as a North Carolina-based sailing syndicate with a mission of training African-American race sailors.  With qualifying races under way to determine which of three foreign race teams will compete in the finals against the billionaire Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team USA, the defender of the trophy, African Diaspora Maritime is requesting a chance to race against Oracle for the right to represent the United States. “We’re certainly at least entitled to a good-faith consideration of our application, which we didn’t get,” said Andrew Kratenstein, a partner in the New York law firm McDermott Will & Emery, which is handling the case for African Diaspora Maritime. “And we believe that if we got good-faith consideration, the only conclusion one could come to is that we should be in the race.” A New York court initially dismissed the suit, but . . .

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 3, Block C:   Robert Zimmerman,, in re: The continuing technical troubles of the James Webb Space Telescope.  Though it appears they're keeping within their latest budget and scheduling margins (being almost nine times the original budget and almost a decade behind the original schedule), the number of issues described in this article is quite worrisome. [more]

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Kyle Trygstad, RollCall, in re: The Grimes Road Map to Defeat Mitch McConnell For Democrats to win statewide in Kentucky, they must run up the score in urban areas without turning off voters in the state’s agricultural and coal counties. That’s as hard as it sounds — especially when a candidate can be painted by the competition as unsupportive of coal, one of the state’s crucial economic engines. Exit Ashley Judd; enter Alison Lundergan Grimes. Kentucky’s secretary of state will formally kick off her campaign against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell next week. Her current status as a “blank slate” is what makes Democrats in the Bluegrass State optimistic that she can defeat the so-far-unbeatable Republican. “I think she can get votes out of northern Kentucky and out west,” said Jimmy Cauley, a veteran Democratic operative in the state. “That’s where the race will be won or lost.” Cauley, a former chief of staff to Democratic Gov. Steven L. Beshear and campaign manger on BarackObama’s Senate campaign in Illinois, caught some heat earlier this year for pouring cold water on a prospective Judd bid. The actress had great name recognition in the state, but Cauley and other state and national Democratswere unconvinced she could take down McConnell. He won two of his past four races with 53 percent or less, but he still emerged victorious. Their apprehension about Judd’s candidacy wasn’t personal. It was geographical.   [more]  

Hour Four

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 4, Block A: American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, a Man Who Turned Disaster into Destiny by Sarah S Kilborne  (1 of 4) 

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 4, Block B: American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, a Man Who Turned Disaster into Destiny by Sarah S Kilborne  (2 of 4)

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 4, Block C: American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, a Man Who Turned Disaster into Destiny by Sarah S Kilborne  (3 of 4)

Tuesday  23 July  2013 / Hour 4, Block D: American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, a Man Who Turned Disaster into Destiny by Sarah S Kilborne  (4 of 4)

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