The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Air Date: 
May 01, 2013

Photo, above:  bees and neonictoinoids; see Hour 3, Block D,  David Jolly, Europe Bans Pesticides Thought Harmful to Bees


Hour One

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 1, Block A: Toshi Yoshihara, John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Naval War College and co-author of Red Star over the Pacific: China's Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy, in re:  the latest on the Senkakus.  Guest also has just returned from Goa, where he delivered lectures at the Indian Naval War College.  China's Communist Party suffers "strategic autism"PLA is unaware of its actual environment, that as it antagonizes all its peripheral neighbors and also goads the US, it may face a unified force opposing its abuses.

..  ..  ..  


China's Communist Party suffers "strategic autism" – PLA is unaware of its actual environment, that as it antagonizes all its neighbors and also goads the US, it may face a unified force opposing its abuses.

.. ..  ..  

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 1, Block B:  Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, in Seoul, in re: South Korean president invited to Washington  A strong security relationship with South Korea is critical given threats from North Korea, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced South Korean President Park Geun-hye will address a joint session of Congress in May.  Park said Wednesday she would take a message of peace to the United States, saying North Korea was welcome to take part in what she dubbed the "Seoul process." [more]  In 2015, wartime control will be transferred to Korean chief of staff: if size of command doesn’t change much why change? Also, must be done slowly enough. Also, important details of command structure. Thought that transfer shd be delayed till end of DPRK nuclear program or till peace is assured. Asian paradox: increased interdependence at the same time as increased tensions.  South Korea is world's fifth-largest civilian nuclear power & exports it.  Will the South Korean military wait for the US to show up in the event of a repeat of such events as the DPRK shelling of South Korean island?  No.  The new president will have to pull the trigger.

The United States and South Korea are major partners when it comes to the manufacture and sale of civilian nuclear power equipment. But that partnership, and maybe much more, could come under pressure if the two can’t come up with a broader agreement on licensing nuclear technology. A big part of the problem, not surprisingly, is North Korea and its already advanced nuclear weapons program. South Korean politicians are wondering how their government can reconcile licensing limits on its nuclear technology sales when its outlaw neighbor to the north seemingly enriches uranium at will and openly tests nuclear weapons? But the licensing of advanced nuclear technology is tricky business, even among close allies. So far, Washington and Seoul have been unable to reach a broader nuclear technology licensing agreement. So they are extending their 1974 accord for another two years. [more]

S. Korean PM, U.S. envoy discuss ways to boost alliance South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won met with the U.S. ambassador to Seoul Tuesday to exchange opinions on how to deepen bilateral ties and President Park Geun-hye's scheduled visit to the United States, Chung's office said. Ambassador Sung Kim visited Chung's office in Seoul to congratulate Chung on taking office, and the two sat down for brief talks to explore ways to further deepen their countries' 60-year-old relations and to prepare for Park's successful visit to the U.S.  [more]

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 1, Block C:   Hotel Mars, episode n.  David Livingston, The Space Show, &  Jeff Foust, in re:  recent rocket launches. Private space is private enterprise; soon enough, profitable enterprises will grow.  Now, Orbital Sciences.    Virgin's test flight from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast.  Orbital is in the mission group. Can buy a launch on a Falcon or an Antares. For 17 flights on the Soyuz, spending $400mil–plus.  Orion multipurpose crew capsule.  Incremental steps of Virgin Galactic. Lots of buyers at $200K?  Yes, over 600 people have put down a deposit (and it's going up to $250K). The big challenge has been dvpg Spaceship 2 – motor, etc.  Reached a milestone this week.   Commercial operational flights: a series of gradually-longer test firings in flight – "expanding the envelope" to understand vehicle performance. Maybe first suborbital space flight toward the end of the year.

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 1, Block D:  Issac Stone Fish,  in re:  India, China finalize plans to hold anti-terrorism drills even as PLA intrusion in Ladakh continues
 India and China have finalized arrangements to hold joint anti-terrorism exercises even as they are grappling with the issue of intrusion by the . . .  

China incursion: PLA ramps up confrontation with India, puts up another tent in Ladakh  

China: PLA abiding by all bilateral agreements. Tensions Over Islands, Shrine Rise After Lull
   Japan and China faced off anew over a group of disputed islands after visits to a controversial war shrine by Japanese politicians . . .  

Japan, China and South Korea to skip finance talks amid rows  

Chinese and Japanese ships cluster around disputed islands  / no foreign county  believes that Xinjiang and Tibet are no longer part of China; however, the Senkakus/Diaoyutai are a very different issue. China is now claiming that the US is a provocateur, is agitating in the region; is telling the US to back out.  Were the US to do that, the entire equation would shift radically.   PRC policy elite resent what it considers the US endeavoring to contain China.  Chinese leaders clearly are not self-reflective: they have territorial disputes with India, South China Sea, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, even with North Korea; can’t they see that they’re causing problems for themselves?  Looks as though they’re picking a fight - from  intl perspective. From Chinese perspective, the media present the Diaoyutai as having always been Chinese [although from 1949 to 1971, Mao acknowledged that they were Japanese].

Hour Two

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 2, Block A:  . Tim Peters, founder of Helping Hands Korea, a Christian mission in Seoul, in re: Everything that we venerate – kindness, charity, compassion, generosity – is what North Korea fears.  An American is on trial for his life in North Korea: Kenneth Bae. Everything we’ve heard or read about him is that he's a remarkably good-hearted person; took tours inside DPRK, at the same time had a tender heart for children and others who suffer there.  Has DPRK decided that because he's a US citizen he's a bargaining chip? Yes, precisely.   Kim will try t bring a high-profile political figure in to rescue him – Jimmy Carter, Bill Richardson – and will also try to extract money and goods. Will propagandize domestically to claim hat another important person is coming to Pyongyang in obeisance.  News, attention, gifts, food aid, diminution of tensions with South Korea and evn with China..  North Korea is backed into a corner right now even for food for its military. Kenneth Bae will be deployed as a piece on the chess board.  If no one from Washington comes calling, hen . . .   Robert Park, a missionary who took a controversial sep into North Korea. was finally released after eight months, during which he suffered a lot. The North Korean regime is a mafia organization masquerading as a nation state. Will hold Bae and extract as much as they can.  Eventually, the Sate Dept – not known for its courage – will negotiate the freedom of a US citizen, Probably not a greatd eal of torture of him.

North Korea to put American Kenneth Bae on trial   North Korea has announced the trial of an American citizen who was mysteriously arrested six months ago while leading a tour group into the country. Mr Bae's crime is not clear. However, the Korean Central News Agency announced on Saturday that a "preliminary inquiry" had been completed and that Mr Bae had "admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with hostility toward it".

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 2, Block B:  . Nury Turkel, former president of Uyghur American Association and now a practicing lawyer in D.C., in re: Xinjiang menan,"new frontier," or "new lands."  Uyghur people always have lived here, noe are demographically overwhelmed by Han Chinese moving is from the east. Damian Grammaticus of BBC:  "We were heading east from Kashgar to the Xinjiang village Selibuya, in southern East Turkestan, where there have been [serious riots]."  A Han neighborhood watch group harassed Uyghurs, forced a middle-aged woman to remove her headscarf; the military came and shot 21 Uyghurs.   Forbidden to participate in mush of life, Uyghurs have now turned to home schooling. An attempt to eliminate Uyghur culture n East Turkestan; forced assimilation.  Since 2007, Beijing has forbidden teaching of Uyghur classical traditions or language. During Ramadan, Beijing forces Uyghur children to eat lunches. Communist Party fears diversity: need unitary society led by CCP, and are terrified of anything that calls into question CCP primacy, Cutural genocide – not only take over the land, but also the livelihood of Uyghur people. Uyghurs are not fighting for some religious-based govt or a religious state – religion is merely part of the struggle, since Uyghur has practiced Islam since the Twelfth Century.  This is not just Uyghurs; also Tibetans; Christianity among anyone; everyone not Han and atheist.  Chinese govt will never "investigate" this.

 Doubts over China government claims on Xinjiang attack To our left, the desert stretched as far as the eye could see. To our right dry, rocky mountains soared upwards, the landscape harsh and barren, but striking too.  We were heading east from the ancient trading city of Kashgar towards the little town of Selibuya, the scene this week of the worst violence to erupt in Xinjiang since major riots in 2009.  The name, Xinjiang, means "new frontier" in Chinese. It is a vast desert region at the very western edge of China. Geographically and culturally you feel far closer to Central Asia and Afghanistan than Beijing.  [more]

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 2, Block C:  . Gordon Chang,, in re: megaprojects – south-north water-diversion canals, Three Gorges Dam: make no sense from a practical POV. Command economy fails.  The order is given, no way for anyone to challenge.  Bloomberg: GM has a 50% share of Chinese automobiles purchase; American taxpayers own a lot of its stock. GM has apologized for an ad including Fu Manchu – "ching-ching chop suey"!! Not only is it offensive – we're aghast that anyone in a major corporation could be so droolingly stupid.  Speechless.

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 2, Block D:  Charles Ortel, Newport Value Partners, in re:   global economy. H7N9: "serious threat to human health; 126 people affected, 24 have died."  Neither China nor WHO will admit the obvious.  BBC reports now that the Supreme Court of North Korea sentences Kenneth Bae to 15 years' hard labor.   Today the ISM number dipped toward 50 [contraction]. No significant mkt now to move the global mkt forward, Since mid-1990s the useful forces haven’t been held in check – have been smothered. Too much capacity worldwide; cant al cooperate to bring it down because of unions, political actors  the usual. Central bankers can be everybody's friend to keep nominal interest rates at zero; can't escape without grievous harm.  Need to watch demographic numbers. Return to 1900, see US pop.. changes; prime demo, 25-54, is falling as a percentage of total pop, while senior group is now tripled – 60% of active people in the US.  And those of Western Europe and East Asia are worse. In China, severe.  Powwow of three bears here: if central bankers are in charge, doesn't that mean that democracy is going away? Without the power of the vote, what have we?  There's a school of thought that financial numbers don't matter & govt can fix everything - I don’t agree. Fed controls 1.84% of total assets; not marked to mkt; can say you'll print money forever but it can’t be done.  The real weak links are in Europe: Belgium, maybe Switzerland. 

Hour Three

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 3, Block A:  Larry Johnson, NoQuarter, in re:  Benghazi: committed by  hirelings of the USA who turned their guns on us. Over the last two days, reports that pp want to come fwd. Start with three men, part of Ansar al Shariah – known for a long time, ID'd and under surveillance before the 11 Sept attack in Libya.  A Special Op appeared on TV with his face hidden  - no one wd give the order to do anything; rather, passed it off to the FBI.  State & DOD suddenly issued letters saying that any whistleblower may testify before Congress – although much of the material is classified, so it'd have to be in closed hearings. Know what was known abt the threat, what action cd be taken, what forces were available.  State claimed to have interviewed someone whom the Review Board refused to interview. Three teams: one in Europe, military, in Croatia (Charlie 110, Commander and Extremist Force?) were abt 4 to 6 hours away.  Tw teams in Tripoli, Libya.  CIA contractors – the Global Relief Staff, GRF – moved immediately  Also personnel eager to leave,  but senior commander required them to stand down. Very unhappy. Unable to treat one of he wounded SEALS, so he died.  Third-country people. US arming and equipping jihadists: recruiting funding training arming, shipping cutthroats from Cyrenaica to Syria.  Administration trying o conceal this, although not too successfully.  Eight months later, we need to know why it took eight months fro this material to be released to the American people. An ambassador, the equivalent of a four-star general, was murdered. Why have we had to push to get the little we have so far?

benghazitips at fbi [dot] gov.

 Current Affairs  Obama Refuses to Pull the Trigger on Libyan Terrorist Leader   Why did the Special Ops guy agree to an interview with Adam Housely? Last night’s report on Fox makes it clear–Barack Obama is not doing his job as President and is turning a blind eye to the terrorist responsible for the death of Ambassador Stevens and the other three Americans last September: What is this man saying? The US military has identified and located the man in Libya who led the attacks last September. But just as Obama drug his feet in making the decision to go after Bin Laden (he had to be pushed into the decision), he is doing it again. Only this time we have full knowledge where the bad guy is. The White House, the State Department and the Pentagon are sitting on their hands.  This is not a minor case. We have known since January the location of the guy who ginned up the attacks in September on the so-called “Special Mission” and the CIA Annex. But Obama refuses to pull the trigger and Libya refuses to give the guy up.  [more]

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 3, Block B:  . Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re; high-speed trains in California? Dian Feinsein's husband is a well-known entrepreneur, often in China; his firm has one a leg of California's high-speed train-line construction.  In the dead of the night, rules changed.   China connection: Jerry Brown in China last month begged for Chinese investment in this boondoggle.  He got a few yuan for the port of Oakland, but zip for the train.  BYD, a Chinese company, s now selling 10 busses for $1.2 million dollars each to [Oakland?}.  Diane Feinstein's husband has made huge profits on military and civilian work.  Bid review process used  Madeira Co Bd of Supervisors opposed the high-speed train; Brown inserted a new member, and the Bd dropped its opposition, Question: WHAT did Jerry Brown promise the Chinese during his visit? He's invited in a nontransparent state.  Wants to set up a dozen or more rail____across the county.  In China: a subsidized failure.

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 3, Block C:  . Mary Anastasia O'Grady, WSJ, in re: Bay State GOP Primary  A former Navy Seal eyes the U.S. Senate.    E AMERICAS Kirchner Targets Argentina's Judiciary

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 3, Block D:   David Jolly, in re: Europe Bans Pesticides Thought Harmful to Bees  Europe's struggle with the question of neonicotinoids and bee health is being closely watched in the United States . . .

https://twitter  [dot]  com/CropLifeIntl/status/329595404658278400/photo/1

Hour Four

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 4, Block A:  Steven Greenhouse, NYT, in re: Retailers Split on Contrition After Collapse of Factories  Several apparel companies sought to minimize any connections to the building in Bangladesh, while some others quickly acknowledged theirs.

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 4, Block B:  Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: IRAN SOURCE: PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD ARRESTED   Officers disarm guards, take him to secret location before releasing . . . Reports have claimed that the Iranian President was arrested this week and warned against releasing information which could prove damaging to the country's Islamic regime.Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was allegedly held for seven hours by the Revolutionary Guard on Monday and told to back down with claims that the regime defrauded voters at the last general election and allegations of fraud against political rivals.  According to, the President was returning from a book fair in Tehran when his security advisor was informed that he was requested to appear at the Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei's office on an urgent matter.  But three other cars are said to have joined the President's convoy and contact was lost between him and his security vehicles.  Instead of being taken to the Supreme Leader's office, he was reportedly taken to a secret Foreign Ministry office where he and his security team were disarmed and stripped of communications equipment.  A source told WND that Ahmadinejad was then forced to enter an office belonging to Hossein Taeb, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence, while many of his associates across Tehran were questioned over the existence of alleged documents that would allegedly prove damaging to the country's regime.  He was later released following questioning.

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 4, Block C:  James Taranto, WSJ, in re: Too Weak to Surrender   Obama promises terrorists he'll try hard to meet their demands.

Wednesday  1 May 2013   / Hour 4, Block D:   Lou Ann Hammond, DrivingtheNation, in re: * Nissan Reports 23.2% Increase in U.S. April Sales

* Infiniti U.S. Sales Increase 10 Per Cent in April

* Honda April Sales Up on CR-V Monthly Sales Record; All-New RLX Flagship Sedan

Bolsters Acura Sales Gain

* Mercedes-Benz Sails into Second Quarter with Record April Sales of 23,635

* Porsche Reports Best Sales Month in History; Deliveries up 29 percent YTD

* Hyundai Motor America Sets All-Time Record April

* BMW Group U.S. Reports April 2013 Sales

..  ..  ..   ..  .. ..


Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Hour 3:

Hour 4: