Wednesday 27 February 2013
Photo, above: See Below: Gardiner Harris, NYT in New Delhi, in re: Children Toil in India’s Mines, Despite Legal Ban Poverty, corruption and decrepit schools drive pervasive work by children in India, a problem illustrated by “rathole” mines in the east. I lived in Louisville, Kentucky, visited mines; average mine height is 4 feet; but I've never come close to seeing the kind of conditions here in Meghalaya. In KY, there 's a Blue Gem seam, 20" high and very valued; men have to spend all day on their backs and bellies; have to bring straws with lunch because they can't tip their soda cans above their head. Here, no light, no roof support. And illegally, children ten and twelve work here. Here, rules are suggested: stop lights are merely a suggestion, people whiz through red lights al the time, Meghalaya's coal mines are doing the same, as there's a law against this, but corruption is endemic here – every facet of life – mining, govt, even journalism routine for people to buy stories in papers and on TV. Hard to find any clean place. There are 200 children, some five years old, are in mines; there are up to 2,000 children in illegal mines. This is a poor, tribal area. Poverty breaks all rules – if you can’t eat the next day, you'll do anything. This part of the world get 80 feet of rain, all during four months of monsoon. If you cut into an old mine, you're likely to get inundated with old water – countless deaths, children's skeletons routinely found and abandoned. Child labour rampant in Meghalaya Meghalaya is not a good place for children to grow up in. Child labour, especially in coal mines, has always been rampant in the state.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Bob Collins, former senior Pentagon analyst, in re: If Iran were to dvp a deployable nuclear capability, ancillary events around the world, plus global question of why South Korea isn’t dealing more successfully with DPRK. North is a global gang; a few ROK academics speak of this but news programs won't. Most of the Korean public takes the ostrich approach. Dennis Rodman, flamboyant basketball player, ends up with Harlem Globetrotters in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-eun loves hoops. Such invitations are "clumsy carrots" to soften image. Bomb: DPRK did a very good job of keeping radioactive gasses concealed so we can’t easily tell what type of weapon. Probably had to be HEU – that's why the Iranians went there, and that's what they're in the mkt for. The devil is out of the bottle.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Maochun Yu, Professor on China; East Asia; Military/Diplomatic History at the US Naval Academy, in re: in the last few hours, Bill Gertz reports China shifts mobile missile to southern coast near Diaoyutai/Senkakus – military face-off with Japan. PLA navy – diplomacy and missile s mix in "coercive diplomacy" – China pushes the bottom line of US-Japan defense alliance; goal is to break the alliance. Nations have twelve miles of territorial water, Chinese navy sails in one mile. Japan exercises extreme restraint – for how long? The only country that matters here is the US Navy. We need to state clearly: US and Japan are allies, and that sticks. Japan shd exercise the right to repel China's aggression. [This Administration in Washington forbad Israel to defend itself against loud threats of annihilation from Iran; probably has done something similar to Japan.--ed] US defense posture will be most important. Senior admirals in the Seventh Fleet have spoken optimistically in the last few years; in light of China's aggression, does that still obtain? Both yes and no. Chinese fishing boats are huge and most actively engaged in provocation.
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN The captain of a Japanese fishing boat said three Chinese government vessels chased it through Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands on Feb. 18. "I never dreamed they would do something so outrageous," Zensho Naka, 54, captain of the No. 11 Zenko Maru, said. The Japan Coast Guard has confirmed that three Chinese vessels approached the fishing boat in the East China Sea, but it has not determined whether the approaches constituted pursuit. According to coast guard officials, three of China's Hai Jian marine surveillance vessels entered the contiguous zone outside Japan's waters to the north-northwest of Uotsurishima island, the largest of the Senkakus, late on the night of Feb. 17. On the morning of Feb. 18, the three vessels made successive intrusions into Japan's territorial waters east of Uotsurishima. They then approached the nine-ton Zenko Maru, which was navigating Japan's waters, the officials said. In addition to crew members, the boat was carrying a reporter and a cameraman from a Czech TV station, as well as an interpreter. Japanese patrol vessels nearby confirmed the approach and kept a close watch for a collision or other accidents.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Hotel Mars, episode n. Sam Kounaves, Professor of Chemistry In-Situ Planetary Chemical Analysis Laboratory Tufts University, Department of Chemistry, in re: Mars soil sample is greenish. What we see is an oxydized iron dust that 's been there for millions of years; when you dig in, your get unoxydized matter. What we're looking at from Curiosity, may be a very old rock. Brave little robot digs., scoops, brings up stuff. We're looking for molecules that could – should – be organics. Haven't found so far; is something destroying organics? In the whole Solar System, organics are present, so if not on Mars, that would be odd. Oppy, Spirit, Phoenix – previous rovers had less-powerful instruments. Curiosity has a mass spectrometer, an x-ray instrument, a lot of powerful instruments. There's an area further up that appears to have a totally different mineralogy. Mars does not appear to have tectonic plates. . . . We've found live here on Earth miles underground; we're looking at the next chapter on Mars.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Raksha Kumar, NYT, in re: India Ink post, “From Hyderabad, a Tale of Two Snack Bars.” Explosion in New Delhi: Bakka Reddy, 23 years old, wounded in an attack, is still in hospital in Hyderabad (on the Deccan plateau). Govt usu announces financial support for such victims then forgets to pay. His mother, sister and uncle are now paying for him; the family is from a village and are poor. His losses are 400,000 rupees ($7,000); he has no insurance, and that amount would be his earning over two years or more. Pandit Reddy, Bakka's brother-in-law, helps as he can. The purpose behind the bombings: everyone wants to know. Speculations. Police spoke of terrorists, but all inconclusive and police have neglected to conduct a proper investigation. Family has no source of income.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Peter Navarro, Professor at UC Irvine and producer of the film Death by China, in re: Chinese mothers don’t trust Chinese-made baby formula – for cause. They regularly go to Hong Kong to buy foreign-made formula; people were arrested several days ago for carrying "too much" back into Mainland. Don't drink the water, accept baby food, eat the food. Victims of the Chinese government. All these toxic additives that wind up in food, cosmetics, etc., are there so the mfrs can make an extra buck. In the USA< we inspect only 1% of what comes in, and half of that from China is found to be tainted. The PRC suppresses free speech, so no one can talk about heprin for example, which comes fro pig intestines and has killed Americans. Tires from China: they took out a tiny valve to save four cents, wound up killing people. In the film, Harry Wu said of the so-called Peoples Republic of China, "No republic, and not the people's; it's a dynasty."
(Reuters) - Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, said none of its products had been destroyed in China as it sought to allay concerns fuelled by reports that milk powder imports from New Zealand had been culled there. Initial worries that New Zealand milk powder had been destroyed weakened the New Zealand dollar on Tuesday. The safety of the country's milk products is a sensitive issue for the local currency as dairy products account for around one-third of the country's exports. Chinese media in recent days reported on spoiled products destroyed or rejected by China's food quality authority (AQSIQ) in November and December, including Chinese brands of infant formula made with powder imported from New Zealand that did not conform to Chinese product specifications.
While a horsemeat scandal is rocking parts of Europe, in parts of China it is considered a delicacy which fetches top dollar. Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan has added fuel to the controversy locally, suggesting horsemeat could be camouflaged in Chinese packaged meat products being sold locally, in mainly Chinese-run supermarkets. However, a Chinese manufacturing company spokesman has denied horsemeat is used in its products.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Rich Fisher, Senior Fellow, Asian Military Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in re: his adventure at IDEX in Abu Dhabi, where China has a huge presence, with a lot of new tactical stuff. "The SCMP article on nuclear propulsion is a great marker. My expectation is that their first CVN could emerge by the mid-2020s. I'd look to their reviving nuclear-powered cruisers, which left the US fleet at the end of the 1980s." China will have a global power projection navy - ___, nd __, and the support ships they need. An 1800-tone corvette has just made a splash; may build 50 of them. This is stealth frigate: has clear stealth shaping, commingled with smaller, fast-attack craft. Will have a substantial anti-surface _. China expects US to go Way; Taiwan will fold, Australia will follow the money. Do not think democracies will coalesce, that India might join them; that even the US might nuclear-arm our allies. In 2013, momentum still gathering. In 1914, Germans expected Belgium to fold right away, but ut didn’t it founght back; by the time Germans overcame Belgians, the allies were ready to defend. China wants a world-class global navy; also air force and also outer space. CCP wants to exceed the current reach of the US – which reach is diminishing as we watch. The LHD China is making uniquely for Turkey; heading also into South America. Investing a lot into marketing. Trying to break out of their rogue-state clientele – Zimbabwe, North Korea, Iran. Looking at Algeria, Egypt, Serbia – which may buy their J-10. When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: . Gardiner Harris, NYT in New Delhi, in re: Children Toil in India’s Mines, Despite Legal Ban Poverty, corruption and decrepit schools drive pervasive work by children in India, a problem illustrated by “rathole” mines in the east. I lived in Louisville, Kentucky, visited mines; average mine height is 4 feet; but I've never come close to seeing the kind of conditions here in Meghalaya. In KY, there 's a Blue Gem seam, 20" high and very valued; men have to spend all day on their backs and bellies; have to bring straws with lunch because they can't tip their soda cans above their head. Here, no light, no roof support. And illegally, children ten and twelve work here. Here, rules are suggested: stop lights are merely a suggestion, people whiz through red lights al the time, Meghalaya's coal mines are doing the same, as there's a law against this, but corruption is endemic here – every facet of life – mining, govt, even journalism routine for people to buy stories in papers and on TV. Hard to find any clean place. There are 200 children, some five years old, are in mines; there are up to 2,000 children in illegal mines. This is a poor, tribal area. Poverty breaks all rules – if you can’t eat the next day, you'll do anything. This part of the world get 80 feet of rain, all during four months of monsoon. If you cut into an old mine, you're likely to get inundated with old water – countless deaths, children's skeletons routinely found and abandoned.
Child labour rampant in Meghalaya Meghalaya is not a good place for children to grow up in. Child labour, especially in coal mines, has always been rampant in the state.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Joseph Sternberg, Asia WSJ, in re: Investing: It's More Frustrating in the Philippines . . . The single most important thing Aquino needs to do is reform the land-ownership laws, allow foreigners to own land, start the ball rolling for other elements. Land ownership sis a building block. Aquino has been more focused on upgrading infrastructure – roads, airports. His anticorruption dive so far is getting high marks.
Manila needs to attract long-term investors before short-term money flees. Few investment stories in Asia were quite as exciting as the Philippines last year. The headline growth rate increased dramatically, to 6.6% in 2012 from 3.9% the year before. And the government of President Benigno S. Aquino III, elected in 2010, launched several encouraging measures to tackle endemic corruption and jumpstart long-overdue public-works projects. Foreign capital has flooded into the Philippines. This is a boon for the Philippines, but also a significant challenge.
The problem is the kind of investment the Philippines is attracting. Nearly $4 billion flowed into its asset markets last year from hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds and the like, fueling a greater than 40% run-up in stock prices. This portfolio investment may accelerate later in the year if, as is expected, the Philippines attains an investment-grade rating on its sovereign debt, which global investors would interpret as a sign of economic strength.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, in re: California. Moody's says, you sure aren't covering your unfunded liabilities, which are a multiple of what you claim. We have so many people we owe pensions, medical, to. May be as high as $500 to 600 billion. SO far, people have looked past reality, considered only the short term, ignore the other numbers, However, people are now starting to see – speaking of it more than ever before. It's like gambling. Donna ____ was once the mayor of San Diego, went gambling with huge public funds, lost it all, is dying of a brain tumor. California shd replace the grizzly bear on its state flag with a can being kicked down the road.
Texas Dominates the Best Cities for Good Jobs Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a quick tour of California to remind business owners that life’s a whole lot easier in the Lone Star State. Perry’s California critics called him “Governor Oops” for his miscues during the presidential debates, and Gov. Jerry Brown dismissed the Texan’s recruiting drive as “not a burp,” and barely even a certain bodily release of gas. Laugh away, Californians. But Perry is playing the stronger hand here. Texas trounced the rest of the country our latest survey of the Best Cities for Good Jobs, with five metropolitan areas in the Top Ten, including the four best cities to find jobs in the next few years. California pension liabilities may swell to $328.6 billion New credit evaluation standards for public pension liabilities proposed by Moody's Investors Service would swell unfunded liabilities for California's state and local public pension plans to $328.6 billion from $128.3 billion, according to a report released on Monday. (See also, How We Picked the Best Cities for Jobs)
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: . Binyamin Applebaum, NYT, in re: As Budgets Face Cuts, Austerity Kills Government Jobs The federal government is cutting back at a pace exceeded in the last half-century only by the military demobilizations after the Vietnam War and the cold war.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: . Ali Soufan, NYT op ed, author, in re: I watched Zero Dark Thirty not as a former F.B.I. special agent who spent a decade chasing, interrogating and prosecuting top members of Al Qaeda but as someone who enjoys Hollywood movies. As a movie, I enjoyed it. As history, it's bunk. The film opens with the words, "Based on Firsthand Accounts of Actual Events." But the filmmakers immediately pass fiction off as history, when a character named Ammar is tortured and afterward, it's implied, gives up information that leads to Osama bin Laden. Ammar is a composite character who bears a strong resemblance to a real-life terrorist, Ammar al-Baluchi. In both the film and real life he was a relative of Bin Laden's lieutenant, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. But the C.I.A. has repeatedly said that only three detainees were ever waterboarded. The real Mr. Baluchi was not among them, and he didn't give up information that led to Bin Laden.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: David Sanger, NYT,in re: In Cyberspace, New Cold War
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts and Pete Hamill (1 of 4)
A rich, illustrated - and entertaining -- history of the iconic Grand Central Terminal, from one of New York City's favorite writers, just in time to celebrate the train station's 100th fabulous anniversary. In the winter of 1913, Grand Central Station was officially opened and immediately became one of the most beautiful and recognizable Manhattan landmarks. In this celebration of the one hundred year old terminal, Sam Roberts of The New York Times looks back at Grand Central's conception, amazing history, and the far-reaching cultural effects of the station that continues to amaze tourists and shuttle busy commuters.
Along the way, Roberts will explore how the Manhattan transit hub truly foreshadowed the evolution of suburban expansion in the country, and fostered the nation's westward expansion and growth via the railroad. Featuring quirky anecdotes and behind-the-scenes information, this book will allow readers to peek into the secret and unseen areas of Grand Central -- from the tunnels, to the command center, to the hidden passageways. With stories about everything from the famous movies that have used Grand Central as a location to the celestial ceiling in the main lobby (including its stunning mistake) to the homeless denizens who reside in the building's catacombs, this is a fascinating and, exciting look at a true American institution.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts and Pete Hamill (2 of 4)
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts and Pete Hamill (3 of 4)
Wednesday 27 February 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America by Sam Roberts and Pete Hamill (4 of 4)
.. .. ..