The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Air Date: 
January 15, 2014

Photo, above: Brief introduction of Uyghur Muqam   Uyghur Region has been known for its vibrant music and ethnic dances since very ancient times. The Twelve Muqams, known as the mother of Music, embodies as a concentrated reflection of the wisdom and talent of the Uyghur people in music creation. Twelve Muqams includes 170 songs and dances tunes and an additional 72 instrumental pieces. The entire work takes over 24 hours to perform from beginning to end.

 The Uyghur Muqam is considered to be the world's most complex and beautiful musical form, combining in suite form sung poetry, popular tales of famous lovers, and compelling dance rhythms. Listening to the Muqam can be an act of religious meditation, but listeners can also get up and dance to the rhythms of the drums. See Hour One, Uyghur mentions.

Co-hosts: Gordon Chang,  Anne Stevenson Yang, J Capital Research, & author, China Alone: The Emergence from, and Potential Return to Isolation. David M. Livingston, The Space Show.

Hour One

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 1, Block A: Gordon Chang,, and Anne Stevenson Yang, J Capital Research, in re: Welcome to the Uyghur rock station; we're probably the only one in the world at present.  China has blown up with so much debt that it's surpassed the US debt of 2009, and now has twice the money supply that the US has. Biggest credit bubble  in the history of the world. Skyrocketing M2 numbers – out of control.  Sixty to seventy per cent of new loans issued are only to service the old loans: the Chinese economy is hooked on credit – dependent on ever-larger amounts of credit, leading inevitably to blow up – has to do so when people lose confidence, run for cover, some small incident will trigger a run, and he Bank of China will not be able to cover it.  Chinese people buy housing for investment, to store wealth, the way some others buy stocks.  When you see that all the new housing is unoccupied and deteriorating, it suggests that this is not a good investment.   BBC: "Xi Jinping is fighting a war on corruption." Is that a war on the credit bubble? No.  Ghost cities: an important metric of the troubles in China. 

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 1, Block B: Gordon Chang,, and Anne Stevenson Yang, J Capital Research, in re: The Twelve Maqam, Panjigan Muqam 1, music of the Uyghur people of East Turkestan, whom Beijing is endeavoring to obliterate in cultural and physical genocide.  Ghost cities: Anne Stevenson Yang's son is photographing ghost cities around the country. Beijing has committed unforgiveable deeds to force villagers to leave land they've owned and farmed for centuries to oblige them to move into huge, ticky-tacky apartment buildings.  The companies doing best are those furnishing and selling these fake apartments: Potemkin laundries.  Identify agricultural land near a city, buy it up and move families out, build apartment block, then demand that the erstwhile farmers buy an apartment with mortgages.  A bubble such as has never before been seen on the planet.

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 1, Block C: Sadanand Dhume, AEI, reports on South Asian political economy, foreign policy, business, & society, in re:

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 1, Block D: Dr. David M. Livingston, The Space Show, in re: Yutu, China lands on the Moon.

Hour Two

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 2, Block A:  Alan Tonelson, Research Fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council Educational Foundation, in re:  the Chinese economy, even though we use similar terms, s is nothing like the American economy, In some respects it's more like a free-market economy, and with acquired technology and learned managerial techniques, have become more productive.  However, the Chinese govt intervenes to a degree unimaginable here – it’s not capitalism.  Relies so heavily on exporting to richer countries.  No such thing as many independent companies such as US has -  creative destruction: do well or die – but there's one great, big company, the central government, with many little facades.  World prices kept artificially low, damages other countries; this practice is one to which the US govt must respond, and the only way to do that is for the US to put tariffs on Chinese goods entering this country.  The US really created this monster.   China's predatory trade and ____ practices have  been stealing from the world economy:  the Chinese is still growing rapidly, should by now be pulling in many more imports than it is. 

Even as Wages Rise, China Exports Grow   Cheng Chunmeng, the general manager of a manufacturer of colorful children’s chairs in east-central China, gave his workers a 30 percent raise last year to keep them from leaving. His labor costs are rising even faster in dollar terms, as the Chinese currency slowly climbs against the United States dollar.  Yet Mr. Cheng, like many Chinese exporters, enjoys growing sales to the United States. “I saw a remarkable increase in orders from the United States starting in March, and getting better and better since then,” Mr. Cheng said. “I feel 2014 will be an even better year.”

Export gains like Mr. Cheng’s suggest that despite years of predictions of trouble for China’s export juggernaut, it has not yet been derailed by fast-rising costs for blue-collar labor, by an appreciating Chinese currency or by foreign investment shifts toward other, lower-wage Asian countries.  China announced on Friday morning its largest annual trade surplus in dollar terms since 2008, as . . . [more]

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 2, Block B: Rick Fisher, Senior Fellow on Asian Military Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, in re:  WU-14, an experimental weapon: hypersonic weapons program goes back at least 20 years; want weapons that can defeat missile defenses.  Puzzle as to how a country that can’t build a jet engine can suddenly build a hypersonic glider. It’s a sort of chip in a space shuttle, a manoeuverable warhead of sorts. The Communist leadership wants the US out of Asia, to cow the Japanese and Filipinos, scare away the Russians and whoever else comes along. They reject treaties.  Mr Liu wants China to grab territory from neighbors to prove that China can win wars – needs to go to war to teach neighbors a lesson and also to feel confidence.  July 194_ - Matsuko: "Punch them hard or they won’t respect you."  Chinese now think they can win small, contained wars quickly while other major powers are diverted, and that everyone will fall in line and obey China. Dangerous conceit because they completely underestimates the response from the invaded nation, among others.  Looking at war with the Philippines soon.  Could easily be history's next great conflict.  Nuclear dominoes.

China Conducts First Test of New Ultra-High Speed Missile Vehicle; Test is part of a new arms race for super fast weaponry. China’s military last week conducted the first flight test of a new ultra-high speed missile vehicle aimed at delivering warheads through U.S. missile defenses, Pentagon officials said. The test of the new hypersonic glide vehicle was carried out Jan. 9 and the experimental weapon is being dubbed the WU-14 by the Pentagon, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The hypersonic vehicle represents a major step forward in China’s secretive strategic nuclear and conventional military and missile programs. The new hypersonic vehicle was detected traveling at extremely high speeds during the flight test over China, said officials who . . . [more]

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 2, Block C:  Gordon Chang,, in re: China's revolution since 1989 is a marvel; are in a  place undreamt-of formerly with relatively vast prosperity. However, in the fifth generation, the Central Committee, the Standing Committee, they dictate without legitimacy. They seem to endorse the aggression of he PLA and the PLA Navy.  The Natl Defense University speaker endorses and encourages aggression along India and southeast Asian nations. That's headed to catastrophe; what to do they want?  -- Not disaster, but the Chinese military has captured the civilians in Beijing. The generals and admirals now have extraordinary power.  Note the 1932 "China Incident" leading to Manchu Kuo.  Onward to the Second War.  Current aggression help the Party indirectly by focusing attn on Japan or hues; overall, is heading to catastrophe: taking on US, India, plus a whole region. China doesn’t have the power to take on all neighbors to both the south and the east.  The emperor cult in the Japanese military.  It might be not that Xi Jinping is strong but that the civilian sector is weak – lacking the rule of law and transparence.  The apparatus itself can’t stop itself.  Xi became Party Genl Secretary only because he was he least annoying choice.  You can’t govern the Communist Party without a faction; Xi has now made the military his faction.  (This is my view, and a minority one.)  Eri Hotta's superb book on pre-WWII Japan, Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy by Eri Hotta: a passive consensus; generals and admirals couldn't stop the colonels on a march to war.  The genl at the Natl Defense University is known to be a liberal: he wrote, "China needs to democratize or it'll become the Soviet Union." However, in the past months he's shifted 180°: everyone at the top of the ladder needs to be a hawk.

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 2, Block D:  Joseph Sternberg, WSJ Asia editorial board, in re:  Tokyo mayoralty election has become a national referendum on nuclear power – Abe's nuclear strategy is suddenly called into question on a large scale.  Japanese people pay some of the highest energy rates in the world, purportedly because it was reliable – which it now emphatically is not post-Fukushima; plus zillions to clean up the radioactive mess. Mayoralty isn’t even about energy policy broadly – just about nukes. If they can't restart the nuclear plants it'll change them further down the road of deregulation and reform.  Spiralling implications.  An impassioned populace and politicians. Koizumi is genuinely concerned about nuclear waste disposal. 

Hour Three

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 3, Block A:  Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review Online, in re: Obamacare navigators’ criminal records should be public. Never underestimate the government’s desire to keep taxpayers in the dark about public business. The jobs of Obamacare “navigators,” the people charged with signing up Americans for health insurance, are funded by tax dollars and require the collection of enrollees’ personal and financial data. When Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told federal lawmakers this fall that the Affordable Care Act does not require navigators to undergo criminal background checks, and that it was possible for felons to land jobs that gave them access to Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses, the hiring protocols for these positions suddenly became a legitimate issue of public concern.

Could identity thieves be working as Obamacare navigators?

National Review and other media organizations subsequently began their own background investigations into navigators, many of whom were hired by firms with political connections to President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. A National Review investigative reporter found 11 Nevada navigators were potential matches against defendants in a criminal court database, so she requested records from the state Division of Insurance to verify . . .  [more]

Nevada ‘Protects’ Consumers by Refusing to Disclose Whether Navigators Are Felons  Nevada’s Division of Insurance has claimed that by withholding information about navigators’ criminal records, it is acting in the best interest of consumers and public safety.

Nevada residents share with navigators confidential personal information, including Social Security numbers and income information, when they apply for Obamacare. And Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius has admitted it is possible that navigators could be felons.  Alarmingly enough, when I ran several navigators’ names through a Nevada criminal-court database, I came up with . . .

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 3, Block B:  Markos Kounalakis, Hoover, in re:  Snowden, Capital Punishment and Why the U.S. Won’t Get Him Back. VP Cheney, Senators and others have accused Snowden of treason. Capital punishment? Russian legal system prevents Russia to extradite anyone to another country that uses capital punishment.  The US AG had to send a letter to Russian Minister of Justice assuring him that the US wouldn't pursue the death penalty. Had Osama bin Laden bin Laden been brought to US, then . . .   The more heinous the crime and the closer our ally, the less likely someone is to be returned to the US.

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 3, Block C: Bret Stephens, WSJ GLOBAL VIEW, in re: Robert Gates's Dereliction of 'Duty'  Serving as secretary of defense isn't really a duty. It's an honor that shouldn't be treated as a burden.

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 3, Block D: Tracy Weber, ProPublica, in re: Ornstein and Weber have previously detailed how federal regulators' failure to keep watch over Medicare's Part D program has enabled doctors to prescribe massive quantities of inappropriate medications, wasted billions on needlessly expensive drugs, and exposed the program to rampant fraud. In 2012 alone, Part D cost taxpayers $62 billion.  [more] 

Hour Four

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 4, Block A: Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize. by Sean B. Carroll (1 of 4)

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 4, Block B: Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize. by Sean B. Carroll (2 of 4)

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 4, Block C: Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize. by Sean B. Carroll (3 of 4)

Wednesday  15 January 2014 / Hour 4, Block D: Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize. by Sean B. Carroll (4 of 4)

..  ..  ..


Hour 1:  Uyghur music: The Twelve Maqam* (On Ikki Muqam), Panjigan Muqam 1. India and the Tiger. Elyseum.

Hour 2:  Batman: Dark Knight Rises.  India and the Tiger. Waterwrld.

Hour 3:  Robin Hood. 

Hour 4: