The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Air Date: 
July 31, 2013

Photo, above:  Faster than light/FTL. See: Hour 1, Block C, Dr. David M. Livingston, The Space Show; Richard Obousy, President of Icarus Intergalactic; & at Baylor University. 


Hour One

 Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Scott Harold, Associate Political Scientist at Rand Corporation; in re: Cambodian election results being contested; Hung Sen regime declined US encouragement to hold free and fair elections, so US pulled some aid. The opposition's leading candidate wasn't allowed to run and the oppo leader wasn't even allowed back in the country till ten days before the vote.   Compare: Burma, which has put distance between itself and Beijing. If Cambodia were to leave China's orbit, PRC would find itself with few friends. It winds up working with retrograde regimes so he populations don’t much care for China.  Cambodia has troubled relations with both Vietnam and China. When Vietnamese army tippled the horrendous Pol Pot Regime, Hun Sen led it.   As soon as people can sustain life in adequate safety, they want freedom, rights, enforceable contracts. 

BLOUIN BEAT: World - Cambodian vote carries shades of U.S.-China struggle Tuesday saw Cambodia’s government reject a Monday call from leading opposition figure Sam Rainsy for an impartial committee be formed to investigate the results of a weekend parliamentary election. Rainsy alleged major irregularities and said up to 1.3 million people could not vote.  This does not, however, change the fact that . . .  [more] Photo: Sam Rainsy speaks to the media in Phnom Penh on July 29, 2013.

 Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Andrew Collier, Managing Director at Orient Capital Research, in re: China issues an unexpectedly good PMI. Is it real? A copper price collapse of more than 60 percent, zinc cut by up to a half and oil down to $70 a barrel. That’s the fate facing world commodity markets should China’s growth dip to 3 percent in the next three years -- a scenario economists at Barclays Plc (BARC) are now examining. They’re not the only ones building models based on a steep decline in growth in the world’s second-biggest economy. Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) estimates a one-in-three chance of a sharp drop by the end of 2014, and Societe Generale SA sees a “non-negligible risk” of less than 6 percent growth this year and . . . [more]  China's growth has fallen from 11% to 6% (and ore likely 3%); commodity consumption there is now gravely low, makes investors nervous – Australian banks, Chilean copper producers, everyone.  Caribbean and South American countries, Australia, others, offering quick, easy entry to Chinese millionaires.

     In China, lower and middle classes re optimistic; but PBC or Central Bank officials foresee a debt crisis and are moving their money out of the country.  Four people starting funds to move Chinese money in to SF, LA and New York. Snooping around Detroit to buy assets – means that Detroit is better than Beijing, Shanghai. 

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: . Dr. David M. Livingston, The Space Show; Richard Obousy, President of Icarus Intergalactic,  & at Baylor University,  in re: FTL /faster than light – photons go faster than Light?  Project Icarus is a study born out of Project Daedalus; a fusion-based . . .  Icarus Interstellar is the 501(c)(3).  Thermonuclear propulsion, et al., restrict us to the speed of light.  Around the year 2100 is when we expect interstellar flight.  Human beings are profound creatures, capable of so many things; Project Apollo is a good example of breakthrough. need public and govt support.  Right now MNASA has one man, in Texas, working on FTL. What’s NASA's goal, and does it think FTL is possible?  NASA probably is cognizant that we don't yet know everything about physics. Classical physics: atom, electron, proton neutron – we didn’t even have a full picture of the substructure of the atom till 1932 - forty years later we created a propulsion system out of it. can we manipulate the fabric of space? "Causal disconnection" – all sorts of problems before we ask [more prosaic] questions.  Project Helios: demonstrate ground-based pulse-fusion-pulse-propulsion (pellets of deuterium/helium 3 . . .  Project Helios; experimentally validate that we can inject the pellets. Project Tintin: deep space – lowcost nano cubespace; trajectory toward Alpha Centauri. Fission fragment rockets.  Day three: so far out of the box they don’t even know the box is there; deep future- 50 to 500 years out/ $125/3 days, rooms avail at hotel.

See: http://thespaceshow.wordpress.  com/2013/01/05/dr-richard-obousy-dr-eric-davis-dr-harold-sonny-white-friday-1-4-13/


 Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:  Charles Ortel, Newport Value Partners, in re: waiting for the HSBC PMI number to be issued – the official number, 50.3, is what they want to , whereas the bankers can't fool around HSBC flash number was 47.7 (was 48.2 in June); now the HSBC number is 47.7.   The official PMI is going in a funny direction; lots of official numbers diverge from what seems realistic; as the Chinese economy gets worse, so does he accuracy of he numbers.  Macro ec data don’t seem to square well with reliable figures. Corporations having trouble bldg up positions in intl mkts as locals are wroth at foreign investment.  Corporate figure are probably more reliable than funny govtl data. US has $315 bil debt last year.  Legendary problems with GDP: it doesn’t truly measure private growth in a country.   As more households form, a static number is not good.

China Balks at Charting Officials' Assets  Despite China's campaign against corruption, President Xi Jinping's administration is defending a fundamental entitlement of Chinese public service: concealed wealth.

How Big Is China's Debt? The Best Guesses The Chinese state owes a lot of money but no one really knows how much. With Beijing launching an emergency audit, China Real Time surveys the private-sector estimates.

Nations Jockey for Chinese Immigrants Cash-strapped countries from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean are slashing visa and citizenship requirements in the hopes of attracting wealthy Chinese immigrants.

Hour Two

 Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Rick Fisher, Senior Fellow, Asian Military Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, in re: Pentagon reports that PLAN goes from defensive to offensive navy, with undersea ballistic missiles – although China's economic growth depends on its having favorable relations with neighbors.   Missiles can "end life n Earth, and certainly reach around the globe.  Used to store warheads separately from launchers, but here the missiles have to be in the tubes in the subs. Probably have safeguard of multiple keys and multiple codes to ensure that the Communist Party's commands are carried out precisely. the officers absorbed the subs probably will be trained, with redundancy, to avoid an accidental launch or a rebellion launch against the CCP.  Communication with subs: CUS uses ultralowfrequency; China uses something similar. In Bohai Sea or Yellow Sea, can still stick up an antenna. Shallow-water patrol areas cuts both ways: vulnerable, but also hard for Americans to hide heir In deep water, US specializes in sub stealth.  By the 2020s, China expects to have [eaten up] Taiwan. Japanese navy very competent in antisub warfare, both bought from US and domestically developed – bit they haven't enough.  Chinese navy has (50?) subs; first-strike capability.  Bombers, missiles, and subs, were the three legs of the stool.  n China, the bombers are coming along - Shan Aircraft Design – working in something very close to the B2 (Russians choosing the same). Russia is threatened by China broad mil investments; Russians investing in tac nukes, called "pest control" – intend to use them on their own territory if and when the Chinese invade.

       Red tide: China deploys new class of strategic missile submarines next year. China’s navy is expected to begin the first sea patrols next year of a new class of strategic missile submarines, highlighting a new and growing missile threat to the U.S. homeland, according to U.S. defense officials. “We are anticipating that combat patrols of submarines carrying the new JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile will begin next year,” said one official familiar with recent intelligence assessments of the Chinese strategic submarine force.  China’s strategic missile submarine force currently includes three new Type 094 missile submarines each built with 12 missile launch tubes. The submarine patrols will include scores of new JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) on the Type 094s. The submarines are also called Jin-class missile boats by the Pentagon. The missile submarine patrols, if carried out in 2014, would be the first time China conducts submarine operations involving nuclear-tipped missiles far from Chinese shores despite . . .  [more]

       US expert issues warning over new missile submarines.  Taiwan should be “very concerned” by reports that China’s navy will soon begin the first sea patrols of a new class of strategic missile submarines, a US military expert said on Tuesday. “While these missiles may not be aimed at Taiwan per se, they are aimed at America’s capacity to resist Chinese aggression against Taiwan,” International Assessment and Strategy Center senior fellow Richard Fisher said. He was responding to questions from the Taipei Times following publication by the Washington Times this week of a report that US defense officials believe Beijing will begin the first sea patrols of three new Type 094 missile submarines next year.

The subs will carry the new . . . [more]

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, in re: Reports: Carter Making Private Trip to North Korea. There are numerous reports that former U.S. president Jimmy Carter will travel to North Korea on a "private" mission to free a Korean-American man detained there. Speaking to reporters Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Mr. Carter is making the North Korea trip in his "personal capacity." But later the White House issued a statement saying it was not confirming the reported Carter trip.  A Carter spokeswoman said the former president was in the Colombian capital, Bogota, on Monday, as part of a mission to "announce success in the fight against river blindness disease." She also said Carter has no "immediate" plans to travel to North Korea. [more]  

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Sadanand Dhume, AEI, in re:  In a review of Ravi Venkatesan's,  Review: 'Conquering the Chaos' by Ravi Venkatesan [was CEO of Cummings Engines and of Microsoft in India] publ by Harvard.  Sadanand Dhume finds that at its heart, the book is a call for . . .  – look at the potential in India, not at the size of the market.  In that way, you can succeed first in India, then the rest of the developing world.  Challenges in India are similar to those elsewhere  but more severe. Bribe, speed money, vendor fraud, et al. ("a taxonomy of corruption") – author says do not pay a govt official to do something he's not supposed to do; but you may have to pay speed money: inspector won’t sign off on releasing your fish until he gets money to do what he's supposed to do.  Similar to a tip?  Mmm . . . not really.  Avoid the sectors of the economy dominated by the govt or the political class – mining, construction, etc. But you can sell a lot of toothpaste, tractors, widgets in the private economy.  The book argues that you should get in early, do the hard work, and it will pay off. McDonald's in India, where the menu is different. Don’t sell to the richest Indians – sell t te middle class, which wants "70% of US quality for 30% of the price." India even has two vegetarian McDonalds! The author ought also be telling the Indian govt to make business conditions friendlier.

 Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Joseph Sternberg, WSJ Asia editorial board, in re: how to get capital into small businesses that don’t have the cash they need to invest in their businesses. Banks in China have failed in this and Beijing has stood back.   Available; the curb market – shadow lenders. Can't fix because of political control over small groups of highly-regulated operations like banks. Even Washington can’t much control that in US.  Small-loan companies, not banks, use shareholder capital; all fall far short of the demand for capital.


Hour Three

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Gordon Chang,, in re:  China slows down; the Communist Party i in denial.  Their Cambodian stooge friends are wobbly. Who's paying Bo Guagua's bill at Columbia Law School?

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Jessica Silver-Greenberg NYT, in re: Over a Million Are Denied Bank Accounts for Past Errors

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  Robert Zimmerman,, in re:  On Friday, an astronaut on ISS controlled and steered a rover on Earth.  While zipping around Earth several hundred miles above the planet’s surface, the European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano drove a 220-pound (100 kilograms) rover across a moon-mimicking landscape here at NASA’s Ames Research Center, even ordering the robot to deploy a simulated film-based radio telescope antenna.   A supernova has exploded in the galaxy M74, only 30 million light years away.  This is one of the closest supernovae in recent years. Though it's still brightening and has reached 12th magnitude, it's not expected to brighten to naked-eye visibility (about 6th magnitude). Astronomers however have spotted the progenitor star in archival Hubble images, which they have identified as a M-type red supergiant that was also particularly bright in the infrared

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Drake Bennett, Bloomberg Businessweek, in re: DETROIT IS DEAD - LONG LIVE OAKLAND COUNTY Detroit’s northern next-door neighbor, Michigan's Oakland County, has become one of the country’s wealthiest counties by absorbing many of Detroit’s fleeing residents and businesses. Presiding over Oakland’s growth since 1992 is county executive L. Brooks Patterson, who has built a career as a respected administrator and longtime cantankerous Detroit basher.  Full story…

Hour Four

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 by William J Cooper (1 of 4)

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 by William J Cooper (2 of 4)

Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 by William J Cooper (3 of 4)

 Wednesday  31 July 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 by William J Cooper (4 of 4)