The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Air Date: 
December 07, 2016

Photo, left: 
Co-hosts: Gordon Chang, & Daily Beast. Dr. David M. Livingston, The Space Show.
Hour One
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 1, Block A: Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, in re:  At 6 AM on Pearl Harbor Day,  Adm Yamamoto sent this message to his pilots: “The fate of our empire depends on this expedition. Each of you will do his duty to the bone.”  . . .  The PEOTUS took a phone call from the president of Taiwan; in the hearts of the Beijing leaders, that strikes fear.   Now the billionaire who runs SofBank will invest $50 billion in the US. Abe is in Ear Harbor to stand with Pres Obama on the 75th anniversary. What does Beijing make of all of this? The call was legal even under our self-imposed restrictions. Shows new thinking: The Kissinger-Nixon plan hasn’t worked so we’ll try new things. The investment indicates that the Japanese, are alliance seekers – like to be friends with others, unlike Chinese who want to be king of the mountain . .  .   Today’s meeting in Hawaii:  deep sense of mourning and loss, and we ‘ll all never let this happen again. Lays a moral and shared values foundation for a very powerful entity indeed: a functioning alliance between Japan and the US. US and Japan putting behind them WWI – in Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor; and the call from Tsai Ing-wen is critical; and the $50 billion is money that might have gone to China but it's coming to the US. Will trigger a US boom that’ll . . . China has alienated nine of its neighbors by rejecting the Hague Court arbitral agreement on China’s bogus islands.  Managed to turn a regional pro-China sentiment to an anti-China sentiment.  Advanced SE Asian nations are putting together their own alliance. China realizes that all this is a terrible setback.
Xi prides himself as a man of will; may have met his match in the incoming American president, who’s changing the landscape.
We’re trembling in our boots about a perfectly legal phone call. Trump isn’t Warren Christopher he picks people up and pitch them out of is office if he wants.  Like the admiral who said; “We sail where we please.”  Remember that the first American they met was Kissinger, who was as eager as a puppy dog. ;
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 1, Block B:  James Holmes, professor of strategy at the Naval War College and a former surface warfare officer, in re:  China flew nuclear-capable bombers over Taiwan; and the evolution of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.  Holmes just returned from Pearl Harbor this morning. “Masterful idea” of Abe to visit Pearl Harbor.  Today, Japan may be the US’s closest Ally – UK has let its navy shrink to nothing.   Whenever Chinese  press reports anything Adm Harris does, they say, “Admiral of Japanese descent Harry Harris.”    US made him PACM commander – we can assimilate people of all different races, traditions; China cannot. 
China’s great wall of China: US is in a moment of flux; the Fiipino elections, Pres Duterte who’s ready to downplay his US alliance and turn to Russia and China.  Freedom of Navigation.
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 1, Block C: Sadanand Dhume, American Enterprise Institute, in Bangalore;  in re:  In Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India where young people have posters of Bill Gates in their room.
Both Modi and Trump say that radical Islam is the enemy.  Trump has been forthright in his comment; Modi represents a similar character anent popular frustration, and although Modi has been temperate in his comments, he and Trump substantially agree.
Countering radical Islam and terrorism  aside, there exist worries about Trump and trade. Indians hope Trump will be firm against Chinese expansionism and Pakistani terrorism, their relations will grow ever stronger.
PM Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan has a lot to explain (and he won’t); Trump calls Pakistan  “fantastic,” and Indians consider this to be real estate banter.
Both India and the US have stronger relations with Japan; the two pivotal allies of India are Japan and Israel. Pakistan has ben a bad actor for fifteen years of warfighting; Pakistan embraces all he bad actors of the region.  Delhi is focused on economic dvpt.  Pakistan destabilizes not only Afgh but the whole region.
Report that the Chinese Navy will send craft to Gwadar port;  China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) alarms India, which with other ports encircles India.  The leading power, Chia, is close friends with the leading exporter of terrorism, Pakistan.
India is enthusiastic and optimistic; would welcome a Trump visit in the earliest term.  The world’s most populous democracy aligns with neighboring democratic states: Australia, Japan, Taiwan, et al. 
The promise of a Modi-Trump alliance  Both leaders want to wage a more forthright battle against the spread of radical Islam.
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 1, Block D:  Gordon Chang, Daily Beast and; in re:   Trump has picked Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to be U.S. ambassador to China, per Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs. “Branstad and (Xi Jinping) met when China’s leader made his first trip to Iowa in 1985 during a sister-state exchange. At the time Xi was a young agricultural official from Hebei province ... The two men have reconnected several times since then. Despite their cultural differences, the pair forged strong bonds and have used their mutual love of agriculture to bridge the gap between their respective countries on human rights, economic issues and other tensions."
China is reacting very warmly, Simon Denyer reports from Beijing: “First of all, I would like to say that Mr. Branstad is an old friend of the Chinese people and we welcome him to play a greater role in promoting Sino-U. S. relations," spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news conference. “The U.S. ambassador to China is an important bridge between the U.S. government and the Chinese government. No matter who is in this position, we are willing to work with him to push forward the sound, steady and steady development of Sino-U. S. relations.”
Hour Two
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 2, Block A:  Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital Research in Hong Kong, in re:  how the new administration affects China. Also, what is Asia’s take on opportunities in the U.S. under the new administration.  Does Asia agree that the US economy is strong?  China has a lot of problems, eke Japan; Indonesia and others are crawling up  the value chain.  Security concerns and trade: at some point there’ll be a conflict ‘twixt, for example, the Trump security crew and Mnuchin or Ross.  Obama killed the TPP for Asia and we’re leaving the whole are for trade. 
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 2, Block B:  Stephen Yates, chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, CEO of D.C. International Advisory, and former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney,  in re: Trumps's Taiwan call.  Stephen just happened to take a vacation in Taipei midst an explosion of condemnation of the call.   You'd think the world had ended last Friday. Meanwhile, Taiwanese people are elated: a brief, personal conversation, no policy.  The congratulatory phone calls are personal. For years, Taiwanese people have felt like orphans, so enormous positive  response here. For one thing, the govt knows that this was a relatively small connection, and also very sensitive to China’s overreaction. On Nov 5, China sent six plane, incl two nuke bombers, flew around the islands.  Enormously provocative – have had aerial and sea-borne and undersea evens, but this went into waterways  relating to other countries – Japan and Philippines above all-  and circumaviated Taiwan’s eastern side; leaves Taiwan feeling seriously vulnerable.  
If China reacts too harshly now would implicitly be criticizing Obama, so instead it criticizes Pres Tsai.
Why is Washington so bent out of shape? For forty years Americans have been forced to speak in oblique and inaccurate terms; Trump will not be told what to say or how to say it – this upset a forty-year pattern of the one-China policy, and the old idea of restrictions on engaging with democratic leaders.
“Fewer characters than The Republic of China’ so it’s easer to tweet.”
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 2, Block C:  Charles Burton, professor at Brock University, in re: the appointment of the Iowa governor Terry Branstad to be US ambassador to China.  “Branstad and Xi met in 19865 when Xi visited Iowa on agriculture,” then again in the US and Beijing.   Branstad has been to China successfully speaking of [selling] pork and soy.  . . . China hopes that elations via Branstad will be more productive than under Obama; are guarded.  . . . Whatever friendship China may have with the new US ambassador are gong to be comparatively insignificant compared to national interests.  Does Mr Branstad have the background [in Chinese culture and politics and history] to represent the US at all necessary levels?  Better to be respected than loved in diplomacy.
Back to the phone call from Tsai Ing-wen: Trump will not do China policy as business as usual. 
Relations between Ottawa and Beijing/ Scandals of our PM meeting secretly with Chinese lobbyists;; backlash in Canada against this.  Have agreed to a pipeline to take Canadian oil to Tidewater, and removed  restrictions on trade, both of which China demanded.  [Little Justin Trudeau has kowtowed, to put it charitably, to his richer Chinese masters.]
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 2, Block D: 
Hour Three
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 3, Block A:  Monica Crowley, Washington Times, in re:  DJT has already saved 1,100 jobs at Carrier; Paul Singer (NeverTrump), Barry Diller (Never Trump) both are changing their tunes. Softbank $50 bil investment on its ay.  Can put doubts to rest; he’ll make errors along the line, but from the gate he shows he won't just hear the American worker but will deliver for him. Success with Ford Motor Co; coming: Nabisco, many others. All want a seat at the table.  Kim Strassel, but what Trump just pulled off is political and economic dynamite.  Will have tax and regulatory reform for all companies – roll back Obamacare, suffocating energy regulations.  Trump on Obama: “I had a great conversation with him; he really cares about the country.”  Obama second term has been a disappointment, to put it diplomatically.  He’s personally popular, but his policies on economy, job creation, the Iran deal: all extremely unpopular.   The coalition that elected him in ’08 and ’12 was particular to Obama.  First hundred days of DJT: watch out.
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 3, Block B:  Monica Crowley, Washington Times, in re:  Trump & Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. @MonicaCrowley, @FNC. Washington Times. Joe Biden: Monica spoke of Biden’s capability as a Democratic candidate, but the Party rejected him; refuse to let him in because Hillary deserved the prize.  Biden has blue-collar appeal, which Trump used to win.  Robbie Mook blamed Comey of the FBI and Putin of Russia.  At the talk at Harvard, it amazing how unable the Dems are to say, ”We lost because of our candidate” – unlikable, besmirched by scandals all direction, etc. Trump has already moved on, but the Dems are wallowing.  Dems now want to fight Trump on everything.  So far we have three generals surrounding the PEOTUS.  Barack Obama’s party is of the far left – Warren, Sanders, DeBlasio, maybe Keith Ellison.  DJT needs to lock in his economic program; a roaring economy silences, or at least mutes, all criticism.  When the mkt realizes Obama is no longer president, it’ll move into higher gear.  In fact, in anticipation, mkt hit a new high today [over 20,000]
COMPANIES MOVING JOBS OUTSIDE AMERICA  I want to get a list of companies that have announced they’re leaving. I can call them myself five minutes apiece, they won’t be leaving. Okay. It’s hard when they say the foundations are already in. That’s tough.
DRUG COMPANIES   I’m going to bring down drug prices. I don’t like what’s happened with drug prices.
APPLE   I said to Tim Cook, it’s my ambition to get Apple to build a great plant, your biggest and your best, even if it’s only a foot by a foot bigger than some place in China.
ECONOMY  Well sometimes you have to prime the pump. So sometimes in order to get the jobs going and the country going, because look, we’re at 1% growth.  I was taking to the head of a major country, because most of them have called me and I’ve talked to all of them. ‘Yes, we are doing not well, not well. Our GDP is only 4.5%.’ I said wow, if our GDP was 4.5% we’d be the happy – I mean our GDP is probably less than 1% if you think about it. And going in the wrong direction.
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 3, Block C:  Richard A Epstein, Hoover Institution, Chicago Law, NYU Law, in re: Illegal Immigrants & What is to be Done? @RichardAEpstein, @HooverInst.  In light of these difficulties, the prudent practical approach is to give strong weight to the status quo ante, by implementing only those changes that will make some clear improvement to the immigration situation, without upsetting America’s fragile consensus on immigration policy. One sensible place to start is with the liberalization of the H-1B visa program, which could help expand the competitiveness of American businesses both at home and abroad. These visas represent only a small fraction of the overall immigration system. The far greater risk to the system comes from the bellicose remarks of President-Elect Donald Trump, who has vowed repeatedly to step up enforcement of the immigration laws. Thus, in his November 13 60-minutes interview with Lesley Stahl, Trump minced no words when he said:
What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records—gang members, drug dealers—where a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate. But we’re getting them out of our country, they’re here illegally. After the border is secure and after everything gets normalized, we’re going to make a determination on the people that they’re talking about who are terrific people, they’re terrific people but we are gonna make a determination at that. But before we make that determination, it’s very important, we are going to secure our border.
These statements reveal that Trump has paid scant attention to the nature of the immigration problem, the probable impact his policies will have on aliens and citizens alike, and the huge financial, logistical, and constitutional obstacles that stand in the path of his proposed program.
Start with the nature of the underlying problem. Trump makes it appear as though there were some vast new threat from immigration, most notably from Mexico. But the facts reveal a different story. The overall rate of immigration into the United States stands at about 3.1 immigrants per 1,000 per year, trending slightly downward from 2000 onward. Set against the backdrop of a declining birth rate inside the United States, foreign immigration acts as a useful counterweight, which among other things is necessary to prop up the generous entitlements supplied to senior citizens under Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. More concretely, the net rate of immigration from Mexico, which was very high, totaling 600,000 in the boom years of 2006-2007, was sharply negative in the recession years of 2012-2013, at minus 600,000, and roughly neutral since that time. The same picture has applied globally since 2009, with net immigration and outflow of illegal aliens about constant, with between 300,000 and 400,000 in each group per year. I use the term “illegal” instead of the more fashionable “undocumented” for two reasons. First, it is the statutory language; and second, it expresses an accurate statement about the legal position, which the word “undocumented” fails to to capture. It is not possible to be a legal illegal alien. It is possible to be a legal but undocumented one..
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 3, Block D: 
Hour Four
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 4, Block A:  Bob Zimmerman,, in re:   Probability of a Maunder Minimum & a Little Ice Age like 17th Century America.  “…The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The red curve is their revised May 2009 prediction.
In November sunspot activity dropped again, to the second lowest point seen since 2010. Essentially, activity today is about where it was in 2010 when the solar minimum was finally ending. Now, the solar maximum is ending and we are beginning the next solar minimum. Throughout the entire just completed solar maximum, the Sun continuously under-performed all predictions. Even now, despite following almost precisely the prediction of the 2007 low prediction during 2014 and 2015, in 2016 the ramp down has begun to slip below that prediction. The trend continues to suggest the arrival of solar minimum will be early, possibly as early as sometime late next year….”  (1 of 2)
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 4, Block B:  Bob Zimmerman,, in re:   Probability of a Maunder Minimum & a Little Ice Age like 17th Century America (2 of 2)
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 4, Block C: Prof. Daniela Schmidt, Professor in Palaeobiology, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol; &  Science Faculty Research Director; Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Scholar; in re: Forecast ocean variability  The IPCC should supply policymakers with realistic regional projections of how the seas will respond to warming, write Daniela Schmidt and Philip W. Boyd.!/menu/main/topColumns/topLeftColumn/pdf/539162a.pdf
Wednesday   7 December 2016 / Hour 4, Block D:  Prof. Daniela Schmidt, Professor in Palaeobiology, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol; &  Science Faculty Research Director; Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Scholar; in re:  Future Ocean & the Climate of the 22nd Century. Daniela Schmidt, @Nature.   “ NOISY WATERS   The impacts of climate change on the oceans are usually depicted using graphs. Lines represent projections of long-term globally averaged quantities such as relentless rises in mean sea surface temperature or acidifica­tion. But the real ocean is noisy. Its conditions simultaneously undergo fast and slow varia­tions as well as local, regional and global ones.
It is important to quantify the long-term average state of the ocean. Eventually, the influence of anthropogenic climate change will be larger than that of ongoing natural variability3. This transition is known as the emergence. But we are not there yet. The present oceanic signature of anthropogenic climate change is still comparable to, and thus difficult to disentangle from, natural and regional climate variability such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation, cycles in winds and sea surface temperatures over the tropi­cal east Pacific Ocean.  Emergence will happen at different times in different places. For example, the tropics are already recording extreme temperatures, whereas the emergence is several decades away at mid-latitudes4
Natural climate variability can offset or amplify climate change trends temporarily (see ‘Reading the waves’). For example, an apparent5 slowing or ‘hiatus’ in global aver­age temperature rise between 1998 and 2012 led some critics to downplay anthropogenic climate change. Natural variability also reflects more extreme conditions, such as latest strong El Niño warming event.
As anthropogenic climate change increases, periods of extreme conditions6 are expected to become more frequent, severe and lengthy. These will have adverse effects on marine ecosystems7. For example, in 2011 the west coast of Australia encoun­tered sea surface temperatures that were 2–4 °C warmer than average for 10 weeks. Its kelp forest, usually 800 kilometres long, shrank by 43%7.
These fluctuations are confusing for marine-resource managers, policymakers and the public. They make decisions about how best to adapt to climate change difficult, and short term forecasts unreliable. …. “!/menu/main/topColumns/topLeftColumn/pdf/539162a.pdf
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