The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Air Date: 
March 08, 2017

Photo, left: THAAD anti-missile system deployed in South Korea.
Co-hosts: Gordon Chang, & Daily Beast. Dr. David M. Livingston, The Space Show.
Hour One
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 1, Block A: Richard McGregor, author of The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers, in re: China’s annual National Peoples Congress: NPC.    The 'core leader' status, that had been earlier been approved by the ruling Communist Party, puts 63-year-old Xi at par with party founder Mao Zedong, his successor and reformist leader Deng Xiaoping and elevates him to a higher status above others in the Communist Party of China's (CPC) collective leadership system.
China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang pledged further conformity to the CPC Central Committee with Xi as the 'core', state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
National lawmakers should unite more closely "around the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as the core," to develop the system of the people's congress and realise the dream of national rejuvenation, Zhang, the chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said while delivering a work report of the NPC Standing Committee.
The endorsement of Xi as the core "reflects the will of all members of the Party, all members of the armed forces and all the people of China," Zhang told the nearly 3,000 NPC deputies gathered at the Great Hall of the People.
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 1, Block B:  Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, in re:  Pregnant & Alone in China 2017.    Around 5 months into my pregnancy, the government’s Family Planning Committee found that [that I was pregnant]. One day the neighborhood Committee waited outside my house along with Family Planning Officials.  In the beginning they were beating around the bush, but pretty soon they disclosed the real purpose of the visit:  to persuade me that, in my situation, I had to either perform abortion or pay a large “social maintenance fee.” After that, they left my house to let me think through my options.  I decided to continue my pregnancy with this child.
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 1, Block C:  Sadanand Dhume, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, in re:   Narendra Modi may be on road to nowhere in India's crucial state poll   That's bad news for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party is battling a crucial state election in Uttar Pradesh that began ...   Uttar Pradesh election: PM Modi's big rally vs Akhilesh's 7-rally blitz ...  l  UP polls 2017: Modi resumes road show, hits out at Opposition in ...  ;  'Modi lied, Rahul Gandhi said narangi juice not nariyal juice', says ...
Get Out the Vote India-Style.Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged on Wednesday to write off bank loans to farmers and took a swipe at economists, such as Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, who criticized his government’s November decision to suddenly void about 85% of India’s currency notes by value. “Hard work is more powerful than Harvard,” he declared at an election rally.
The opposition leader, Rahul Gandhi, whose Congress Party is struggling to stay afloat after a string of humiliating defeats, continues to peddle a tired message of class envy and suspicion of business. He regularly accuses Mr. Modi of neglecting poor farmers in favor of fat-cat capitalists. Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, appears inordinately proud of meeting a campaign pledge to give away laptops in a state where most people don’t enjoy uninterrupted electricity.
India is hardly the only democracy where politicians traffic in simple ideas that voters can easily grasp. But arguably no other major economy exhibits as wide a distance between electoral and policy discourse.
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 1, Block D: 
Hour Two
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 2, Block A:   Bruce Bechtol, professor at Angelo State University and author of North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jong-un Era, in re:
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 2, Block B:  Rick Fisher, senior Fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, in re:
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 2, Block C:  Marcus Weigerber, Defense One, in re:
Chinese Military Officers Crash US Air Force Conference in Florida   ORLANDO, Fla. — Three People’s Liberation Army Air Force officers crashed a U.S. Air Force conference here this week, raising eyebrows from military officers and defense executives alike.
A senior U.S. military official and two defense executives confirmed the presence of the Chinese officers who were in uniform Thursday but in plain clothes Friday.]]
The trio walked around the large exposition hall at the conference hotel near Disney World snapping pictures of military gear and models of drones and other aircraft, some of the military’s most advanced weapons.
While no classified information is on display, defense firms oftentimes show off their latest prototypes and most advanced military equipment. This year, Boeing featured a new helicopter it wants the Air Force to buy to guard its nuclear missile fields, Northrop Grumman had a model of a new ICBM, and Lockheed Martin and Raytheon showed off models of new aircraft missiles.
Firms sometimes display more sensitive or proprietary technology inside of trailers or secure conference rooms guided by security officers.
One American executive said that the Chinese officers inquired about the specifics of one of the company’s communication systems. The American official did not provide any details.
This week’s Air Warfare Symposium — hosted by the Air Force Association — is open to the public. A ticket costs $1,025, plus an additional $180 to attend a welcome reception widely attended by senior military officials and defense executives.
It’s not uncommon for foreign military officers to attend trade shows like the one here this week. However, the ones that do attend are usually from American allies. Uniformed Chinese and Russian military officers are more commonplace at arms shows in the Middle East.
Military officials and defense executives say it’s common for foreign officials to approach them at trade shows, like the one here this week. The key, they say, is to be polite, but disclose nothing.  (1 of 2)
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 2, Block D:  Rick Fisher, senior Fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, in re: (2 of 2)
Hour Three
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 3, Block A:  Rick Rojas, New York Times, in re:  This is not exactly Trump Country. In Clinton County, which includes Champlain, Hillary Clinton eclipsed Mr. Trump by 610 votes. Many residents on Roxham Road said they did not bother to vote and had followed politics just enough to feel disenchanted, if not disgusted.
“I used to just blow everything off,” said Melissa Beshaw, whose house is the second to last before the border. “I was never into politics until this road became famous.”
She, like some others, was quick to assign blame to Mr. Trump. Immigration advocates in Canada said the reasons for fleeing were more complicated: The president’s executive order in January on immigration that affected countries that are mostly Muslim was certainly a factor, but so were frustration with the immigration process in general and concern over anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Migrants have been coming to places like Roxham Road not because they want to sneak over the border; the expectation is to walk right into the arms of the Canadian authorities. An agreement between the United States and Canada makes it virtually impossible for them to ask for asylum at a legal border crossing; Canadian border officials would have to turn them back. But a technicality allows them to bypass the agreement by illegally setting foot in Canada.
“Once they get arrested, they’re already on Canadian soil,” said Jean-Sébastien Boudreault, the president of the Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association, “so we have to let them do a refugee claim.”  (1 of 2)
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 3, Block B:  :  Rick Rojas, New York Times, in re: (2 of 2)
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 3, Block C:  Aaron Klein, Investgative Radio, and Middle East bureau chief, Breitbart; in re: Who is driving the anti-semitism in America?  The Jerusalem Post reports: The Jewish community Center in Rochester, New York was evacuated early Tuesday morning due to a bomb threat.
The evacuation of members and staff was ordered shortly before 6 a.m., the local ABC affiliate 13WHAM reported. About 75 people were evacuated from the building. Parents who attend the JCC daycare were notified and asked to make alternate child care arrangements for the day, according to Democrat & Chronicle newspaper.
Local and state police officers and FBI agents reportedly were on the scene to sweep the building. Meanwhile on Tuesday, a Jewish community center in Milwaukee was forced to close after receiving an emailed threat overnight, it said on Facebook.  (1 o 2)
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 3, Block D:  Aaron Klein, Investgative Radio, and Middle East bureau chief, Breitbart; in re: Who is driving the anti-semitism in America?  (2 of 2)
Hour Four
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 4, Block A:  Robert Zimmerman, BehindtheBlack,com, in re: Blue Origin on Tuesday announced its first customer for the big New Glenn rocket that the company will build on the Space Coast and launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The deal to launch a commercial satellite for Paris-based Eutelsat Communications by 2021 or 2022 officially makes Blue Origin a competitor with established Cape launchers SpaceX and United Launch Alliance for most types of satellite missions in the next decade.
And the contract announcement came days after Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Blue Origin and CEO of, disclosed ambitions to partner with NASA on establishing a permanent human settlement on the moon.
"Our goal, and we won’t stop until we achieve it, is to dramatically lower launch costs," Bezos said Tuesday at the Satellite 2017 industry conference in Washington, D.C. "It's not going to be easy. It's going to take time. But when we do achieve that goal, it will grow the entire industry."
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 4, Block B:  Robert Zimmerman, BehindtheBlack,com, (2 of 2)
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 4, Block C: Eric Trager, in re; Yet beyond these immediate concerns, the Gulf allies saw their generosity towards Egypt as an investment in their own long-term security.  They believed that a strong Egypt, which possesses the Arab world’s largest army, would help them counter Iran’s expanding influence in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.  Indeed, Sisi appeared to promise that Egypt would play this role when he told King Salman in March 2015 that the security of the Gulf is a “red line” and an “integral part of Egyptian national security,” and he also agreed shortly thereafter to Egypt’s participation in a joint Arab military force.
Four years after Morsi’s overthrow, the Gulf aid has satisfied its first two objectives.  Cairo’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has divided the organization and neutralized it politically, at least for the time being.  And while Egypt is still struggling economically, it has nonetheless muddled through despite dwindling foreign direct investment and tourism revenues.  But much to its allies’ chagrin, Egypt hasn’t become the anchor of a broader Sunni Arab alliance against Iran.  Instead, Sisi has charted his own course – one that sometimes aligns with the Gulf allies’ interests and at other times contradicts them, but which always follows the same pattern: Sisi supports state actors whenever they are in conflict with non-state ones.
Wednesday   8 March 2017  /Hour 4, Block D:   Dr Lara M Brown,