The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Air Date: 
January 02, 2013

Photo, above: Open-pit mining at Gyama, Medrogunkar, near Lhasa in Tibet. Copper, gold, molybdenum and zinc are mined at Gyama.  Chinese use dangerous low technologies, contaminate vast subregions, and take all the money away - $570 million recently taken from a Tibetan gold mine - to Beijing (and split some of it with Australians) to line the pockets of the ruling elite.
Gyama Mine tailings storage:  toxic sludge is poured at the top of the hill (lower left) and goes downhill to the tailings dam (upper right). The tailings dam may last 50 years, or it may leak before that—leaking pollutants into the Gyama River, and then on into the Lhasa River.
Co-hosts:  Gordon Chang,, and David Livingston, The Space Show
Tuesday 905P Eastern Time: Walter Lohman, Director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, in re: Japan has new PM – re-elected – who takes a slightly firmer stance . Hope the Obama administration listens to Japan.  It tends to follow our allies.
Chinese prop lane approached the Senkakus; Japan scrambled jets and the Chinese skedaddled.  Japan immed complained to Beijing. Chinese provocations no longer are subtle, they're  blatant and aggressive. State bureaucrats parse words; it sounds most unhelpful in Tokyo. We need diplomats to warn off the Chinese or we could wind up in a shooting war. Not strong American leadership currently; recall Reagan who spoke of how the nature  of a regime matters.  Similarity of today's China with pre-WWII Japan.
Heritage Foundation sponsored a conference in Taipei on December 17 entitled ROC-U.S.-Japan Trilateral Dialogue.
Tuesday 920P Eastern Time:  Gordon Chang, in re: Tibetans do not wish to be ruled by China (actually, no one does).  Chinese are stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from Tibetans: $570mil recently taken from a Tibetan gold mine. Tibet is persecuted by the illegitimate govt of Beijing for money.
Tuesday 935P Eastern Time:  David Livingston, in re:  Mars, Gale Crater.  Perfected method of landing heavy payloads on Mars; exploring crater, found deep stream bed, doing rock and sample analysis. Everyone glue to what Curiosity is doing – most successful ever; spectacular. next mission is Dawn: circled Vesta (see: NASA website); headed to Ceres on another Discovery mission.  as giants worked in tandem to pull each other out from close to the Sun?  Huygens, Cassini (going for fifteen years).  See most recent pix of Saturn and rings from behind looking at sunlight coming through.
Tuesday 950P Eastern Time: Jillian Kay Melchior,  NRO and The Phillips Fdn, in re: Christianity in China. Today, a little under half of China's Christian population is Pentecostal or charismatic, reports the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. That amounts to tens of millions of adherents for a tradition that emphasizes prophesy, healings, direct revelations and speaking in tongues. . Pentecostalism has thriven by broadening its message to fit several stages of China's development. These transformations have helped them reach a totally new demographic: China's growing middle class. China has a lot of problems called by its secularism. Pentecostalism addresses everything including healthcare: faith healing.  Corruption is rampant in the economy; Pentecostalism promises clean capitalism/ there was an enormous gathering of house pastors: pastors who preach outside of govt churches. Beijing wants zero competitor in power, knows that the faithful hold God above the state. Could solve this easily by encouraging accurate Christianity – but Beijing does the opposite, even requires that all Bibles be state-printed. Pentecostal Christianity offers faith to the deracinated people from the countryside who moved to the cities for work.  "Jesus Christ died for your sins and your acceptance of that is all that matters."
Tuesday 1005P (705P Pacific Time): Sarah Cook, senior research analyst for Freedom on the Net and East Asia at Freedom House, in re: Internet freedom in China. The new regime – Xi Jinping – and his cohort feel threatened by the Net.  Harder now to jump over the Great Firewall. Now Chinese citizens have to register with their full, real names so the tyrants can track them.. In the last several weeks, much tighter restrictions on VPNs: businesses are having trouble getting across the firewall simply to do business. Event he foreign businessman are now getting a taste of what Chinese people have had to endure for a decade. Opacity of Party's decision-making. Standing Committee  votes on strangling the Net: 140 yesses, five abstentions, a few no's.    Have to keep adding layers to keep the citizenry intimidated and bullied, which is how the Party keeps itself in power.  You can’t pull this on young people: they have smartphones and won’t put up with it. There are 3,000 cases of rape pending in courts across the country!  It’s not an urban crisis – it's across the board.  The young men in the bus were from villages. Women suffer this every day. It’s a crisis of society. Women are second-class citizens in this democracy – not even citizens in any sense: have no rights in their own family.
Tuesday 1020P (720P Pacific Time): Mudha Bhalla, Professor of East Asian Studies at the University of Delhi, in re: the  young woman who was attacked n a bus by six mn died last Saturday.  The Indian legal system doesn’t act effectively against men's attacks on women in many contexts. State inactive in dealing with multiple outrageous situations – corruption, criminality of all varieties, violence, govt malfeasance. The entire Indian populace is enraged and in the streets. Largest democracy on Earth, but imperfect.  In some ways, there are features within it that push it all the time to be a bit better. Broad understanding now that the way this state functions needs to change; if pressure continues, State and political class will be forced to move. However, there's a deep alienation from the govt – the ruling party ordered the police to attack the peaceful protestors, many young and many old. Used the old colonial habit of focusing on law and order rather than on the substance of the protests.
Tuesday 1035P (735P Pacific Time): Bruce E. Bechtol Jr.,San Angelo State University, in re: Kim Jong-eun's new year's day speech. North Korea has always had a tripartite power balance among the military, the security services (eight Gestapos), and the politicos. A year ago, announcement of death of Kim Jong-il.  May not have died just of a heart attack, but perhaps from a rage at a problematic hydroelectric plant. "Rumors in the press [about North Korea] are always a good source, except when they’re not." He had a vicious temper and micromanaged economic projects, which is why they world out so badly. "On Dec 17, 2011, in a briefing abt a hydroelectric dam under construction, news of a leak. He rushes to see and dies en route." DPRK doesn’t have he heat to keep the country warm; blackouts in Pyongyang; see notorious photos of DPRK at night: no electricity."  very bad more=ale in upper ranks of military right now – also in the Party, and also in the security services! These three institutions hold the country together. Anticipate: even more purges.  Launch of wobbly satellite; Iranians present because they paid for it. It was a three-stage ballistic missile; Iranians will pay big money to have a three-stage ICBM. Only way Kim Jong-eun can be successful is to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Will e hold together the elites. No talk of North Korea across Asia or – worse –in Washington. Missile can hit the United States. Look for key power moves in military and party; look for purges; look for a nuclear test in the next year – and then they'll try a "peace offensive" with South Korea. [gag]
Tuesday 1050P (750P Pacific Time):  Joseph Sternberg, Asia WSJ, in re:   Mark Zuckerberg and the Communist Party of China both want users to sign up only using your real name.  Facebook is not allowed  in China now – afraid it’ll be used to foment rebellion. Weibo – twittterlike sites allow internal national talks not possible since before Mao. Can post on any topic, incl corruption. Corrupt local officials have been exposed through Weibo.  Mao separated Chinese people from each other; the Internet has allowed them to connect among themselves. The disadvantage to the Party of training aggressive hackers to break into European and American governmental sites – Pentagon, White House, Ten Downing, etc. – is that then there's a group of fabulously competent hackers who could turn their skills against the unelected tyrants of Beijing.
Tuesday 1105P (805P Pacific Time): David Drucker, Roll Call, in re: Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell work together to solve the fiscal cliff; the odd couple works.
Tuesday 1120P (820P Pacific Time): John Avlon, Daily Beast, in re: Pete King and Chris Christie shame John Boehner and the House for adjourning without voting on the Sandy bill; what will happen?
Tuesday 1135P  Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander III M. D.; 1 of 2
Tuesday 1150P (850P Pacific Time):  Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander III M. D.; 2
Tuesday/Wed 1205A (905 Pacific Time): Michael Barbaro, NYT, in re: who is Joe Lhotta and why is Rudy Giuliani backing him for mayor, 2013, what does this mean about Rudy and the city?  Whom does Bloomberg back?
Tuesday/Wed  1220A (920 Pacific Time): Reza Kahlili, author, in re new bioweapon agents identified under development by IRGC working with Russian technicians at three IRGC biowar plants in Iran.  Why does Iran need bio weapons?
Tuesday/Wed  1235A (935P Pacific Time): Alexis Madrigal, Atlantic, in re: what's in the new year for digital?  What surprises?  What's next for social media?
Tuesday/Wed  1250A  (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt. John Fund, NRO, in re: who are the friends of Angelo, and what will Congress do about its members' accepting sweetheart mortgages from Countrywide in the housing bubble years?
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