The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Air Date: 
May 20, 2020

Colleague: David Livingston, The Space Show
Hour One
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 1, Block A:  Salena Zito, CNN , and The Middle of Somewhere column;  in re:  Pennsylvania: virus is esp harsh in nursing homes, breeding grounds for virus spread. Between 70-80% of people who've contracted the virus are there.  Sen Casey is not really a partisan; works well with Sen Toomey. Joe Manchin, and freshmen Senators from Arizona, tend to work well across the aisle.   Gov Wolf of Pennsylvania: sensitive to the needs of all his constituency?  Sen Casey dances around the question.  A lot of post-industrial towns were just beginning to get back on their feet. Govt employees still have their jobs, They don't make anything, are not in trades, are not gravely affected by this.   Salena was in Tennessee, which is open, as Pennsylvania is not.  Pittsburgh is much closer to the PA state line than it is to Philadelphia, culturally as well as geographically.  Sen Casey spoke a lot of Congressional aid – but we need not governmental aid, but the chance to take private-sector action. Sen Casey has been in govt his entire life; doesn't know much about the productive, private sector.
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 1, Block B:  Salena Zito, CNN, and Washington Eaxaminer The Middle of Somewhere column;  in re: The first thing I noticed about the president that he looked great- as though he’d lost 15 or 20 pounds and his skin was wholesome. He looked happy to be out of the White House.  For a few miles from the airport, people spontaneously lined up for as far as you could see.  He was on his way to a surgical-supply manufacturing plant, and the people lining the route would have no chance to see him.  Upper Macungie township.  Sean Parnell.  Are these the kind of candidates who’ll help you win back the House?   Joe Biden is committed to banning fracking; how does that sit with Western PA, which depends on fracking?
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 1, Block C:  Mark Clifford, former editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post and a Hong Kong resident since 1992, in re:  HK jobless rate is much higher than before, but stil around 5%,which is less than the rest of the world. It's been wearing, but HK is coming through in fairly good shape — but the political situation may not be.  Restaurants were never closed here. Gyms were, but not the sort of lockdown seen in New York or Paris.  Our death rate is 14.  Credit not to the top of the government, but the medical workers. Making Mainland visitors feel uncomfortable visiting also helped.
     Mainland is trying to pass a law making it illegal to insult the Mainland national anthem. They’re displeased with HK not trembling and obeying; drives hem around the bend. Article 23: from our mini-constitution, require laws [turning over national security] to Mainland. Beijing has sent down two hardest-line Party cadres, one know for destroying Christian churches, the other familiar with coal mining.  Can Beijing oblige HK to perform at the level it needs to finance Mainland activities when Mainland’s economic growth is stopped?  Cathay Pacific  has thousands of employees, some of whom joined the protests, and Beijing demanded they be fired.  Confrontation between the Mainland Party and the youth of Hong Kong
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 1, Block D:  Evan Ellis, professor of Latin American Studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, in re:  The virus, poverty, wars, and famine.  Pres Bolsonaro of Brazil is reluctant to press for lockdowns, as is AMLO in Mexico.  Large informal sector: if you don't work, you don’t eat. Businesses go out. Virus out of control in parts of Brazil.  Venezuela has been disconnected from the world so may not have as high an infection rate, but we don't know.  A lot of Venezuelans who fled to work in other countries are returning, desperate, and bringing infection back. Cuba.  Nicaragua: Ortega has refused to acknowledge the virus, with a 50% increase in deaths from “pneumonia.”  China is the foreign country that stands to benefit the most in Latin America, whose countries will try to sell off assets at reduced prices. China profits also in being able to buy whole companies.  Virus behaves better among young populations? Yes.   . . .  Crises in social security systems in Latin America.  Amazonas simply doesn't have many hospital beds.
Hour Two
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 2, Block A:  John Catsimatidis, @JCats2013, Red Apple Media and host, Cats Roundtable (WABC, 8:30-10 AM on Sundays), in re:  New York’s Mayor DeBlasio says, you may walk on city beaches but not swim; or go to Long Island beaches and swim. Commend Gov Cuomo for opening NYS beaches.  Nassau Co. executive said she’d spoken with the mayor, may not let city folk on their beaches.  And no lifeguards trained and ready. It's Memorial Day, for Pete’s sake; let’s drive around the state.   NYC subways trying out an ultraviolent purification method. Throw the homeless out of the subways at 1 AM, will they all return at 5 AM?  Initially, our supermarkets did land-office business, but now sales are closer to normal; why? People are escaping the city. We brought in the USNS Comfort, and set up a field hospital in Central Park [thank you, Samaritan’s Purse!]. Had we put all the virus patients in there, the hospitals could have taken sick people with other problems.
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 2, Block B:  Marc Coleman, & head of International Business Development for IBEC; in re: Dublin was in a govt-ordered lockdown. Have 1500+ virus deaths in Ireland.  Flattening of the curve, from a steep rate of increase three weeks ago (60% growth rates), now down to 5%.    Now a five-phase wind-down of lockdown: outdoor workers may start; next, solitary indoor workers; then those with low levels of interaction; then 24 July; then August.  Lockdown has been efficient.  Israel ended lockdown sooner with tracing.   Germany has devoted €978 billion to support; one-quarter of GDP
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 2, Block C:  Tunku Varadarajan, editor-in- chief of Hoover's in-house publication, “Defining Ideas”; in re: With his wife in search of a street in Brooklyn they call a White Whale.  Brooklyn has a high mortality rate, but it’s not as gloomy as it was under the harsh sirens day and night. We’ve learned how to adapt.  Walking in Brooklyn with my wife was most agreeable.  We keep distance from others and walk early in the morning, along with the elderly. Around noon, parents with young children tied of being cooped up, who tend to be unmasked and veer their tricycles in all directions. We live near Red Hook; beautiful architecture, and filled with abandoned factories.  Risks: joggers, the worst. They tend not to wear masks (“requires access to air”); they sweat, breathe heavily, and have a high moral self-regard, being better than other life-forms. They expect others to move out of the way.  I’ve grown to hate them.  Also, meeting people on a too-narrow sidewalk. Tunku’s son was shooshed away, at fifteen feet of distance, by a couple holding hands who found him inconvenient.  Couple’s paranoia.  You were looking for a White Whale—an empty street, where my wife and I can walk right down the middle, where we can breathe. We tend to find them in Red Hook, and not much the Brooklyn Heights promenade or park. I pray for rain, when I enjoy walking.  Never have I loved rain as much as now.
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 2, Block D:  Hotel Mars, episode n. William Harwood, @cbs_spacenews; and Dr David Livingston, @SpaceShow  #HotelMars, The Space Show; in re: Waiting for the US to return to manned space on a US-built space vehicle, the Dragon capsule of SpaceX. Schedued for May 28.  Also, the sudden resignation of the head of NASA manned space, no explanation.  Thousands expected to watch the launch, but NASA is discouraging crowds.  Even limiting how many journalists can get access to the launch.
Hour Three
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 3, Block A:  Steve Moore, @StephenMoore, Committee to Unleash Prosperity; in re:   Blue states are hobbled by opening much later than red states. . . . One of the dumbest things we’ve done is close schools, as young people are barely affected by the virus, and with 24-hour childcare, parents can't return to work and therefore can’t bring in essential income. 
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 3, Block B:  Ron Lauder, World Jewish Congress president; writing in Arab News, in re: A successful melodrama on Arab TCV: set in an unnamed town in the Gulf, shows Muslims, Christians and Jews living comfortably in the same town in the 1940s.  Am amazed that it exists; people watch it in the evening as they break their fast during Ramadan, This comes from Saudi television.    About a Bahraini woman in a fictional city.  It's madly popular, and has already affected Arabs’ sentiments toward Christians and Jews. I was at Auschwitz-Birkenau for the 75th anniversary—and many Arab leaders joined us and said prayers. Shows a huge change in the Middle East. If we can have peace between Muslims and Jews there.  Abraham, Jesus and Mohammed all preached peace. Yesterday a UAE plane landed in Israel to covey medical supplies to Palestinians.  I believe this is the beginning of a new era. 
Can you also explain the rise of anti-Semitism?  Anti-Semitism is like the virus.  We saw this in the Fourteenth Century with Bubonic plague, which was blamed on Jews.  Where does this sickness come from?  West is anti-Jewish, anti-immigrants, anti-Muslim.  They see Black people as unwelcome.   
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 3, Block C:  Patrick Tucker, @DefTechPat, Defense One technology editor;  in re:    Iran Is Increasing Its Military and Cyber Activity, Report Says ;
After a big drop in April, Iran’s conventional military activity is up. Cyber operations never slowed down. 
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 3, Block D:  Patrick Tucker, @DefTechPat, Defense One technology editor;  in re:  DOD’s Top Scientist Shoots Down Airborne Lasers for Missile Defense
Hour Four
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 4, Block A: Andrew C McCarthy, Ball of Collusion, and Thaddeus McCotter, American Greatness, in re: Susan Rice’s memo to self.  “If she said it was raining, I'd check out the widow.”
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 4, Block B: Andrew C McCarthy, Ball of Collusion, and Thaddeus McCotter, American Greatness, in re:  Gen Flynn.
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 4, Block C:  Sean Lin, former lab director of the viral diseases branch at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, in re: . . . Seems to some of us that the Chinese government is hiding something. What do you think?  It's hiding many things: [list enumerated].  . . .  Beijing quickly sent in military people to clean up the lab thoroughly.  Were I the investigator, I'd ask for samples __, 96% homology.  I doubt that this virus [is from] nature. Zoonomic.   Chinese government always likes to blame [others]; here, bats and pangolins.   Weird inadequacy of [logical] information from China.
Wednesday 20 May  2020 / Hour 4, Block D: Michael Yon, Far East reporter; in re: Hong Kong protests.  Mainland demands to have a Hong Kong law whereby it’s illegal to disparage the Communist national anthem.  On 1 July 2019. The protestors, the insurgents, broke in to Legco  [the HK parliament; pronounced ledge-co] and occupied it for several hours.  Mainland is encroaching on HK’s sovereignty as it's been doing with Taiwan; the gas is turned up higher, no predicting. It's far from over.  The more Beijing cracks down, the more outsiders grow alarmed and lend help.  Am concerned that there may be a false flag operation coming up, a serious attack on HK police to give Chinese Communists “reason” to crack down heavily.  Chances of increased violence are high.
In Thailand, a young population.  A Thai doctor who's been wring on this virus says authorities are ore worried about the summer: monsoons, and mosquito-borne diseases; people will be cramped indoors during the upcoming rainy season.   When you enter store or mall, you have to take a photo with a QR code so, like Big Brother, they can see where you are.  Pandemics are so strange, as they pop up in one place and not a few miles down the road. Some HK protestors are going to Taiwan; clearly, some also moving to Canada and Australia.  If we don’t knock out the CCP, the patriots will have a hard time of it.