The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 10 April 2014

Air Date: 
April 10, 2014

Photo, above: Photo: Typhoon Ita approach Australia.


Hour One

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 1, Block A: You have to have a scape goat. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning. Immigration reform.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 1, Block B: Ed Hayes. de Blasio’s strange New York Times interview from today is intriguing. The mayor knows New York Governor Chris Cuomo doesn’t like him. It’s ridiculous de Blasio speaks like he’s in   Al Sharpton wore a wire to spy on the mob. “This is one of the most horrifying things I’ve heard in years,” said Ed Hayes. It’s suspicious that Sharpton wore a wire to be a good citizen; most of the time people who wear wires are trying to get out of criminal prosecution.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 1, Block C: Satyajit Das. Category 5 Typhoon headed toward Australia could be tragic for the Great Barrier Reef and rainforests. Banana pickers, and sugar cane harvesters are working hard to get all of the fruit before this hits and crops are severely damaged. Tony Abbot opens trade deal with Japan but it’s not new. Australian agriculture will have lower tariffs to enter Japan but that doesn’t mean the Japanese will be eating more Australian beef.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 1, Block D: Francis Rose. Lois Lerner, ex-IRS official, held in contempt after refusing to testify in a House committee hearing today. Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary, steps down after rolling out the Affordable Health Care Act. However, her term was longer term than average appointed cabinet member.

Hour Two

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 2, Block A:  Malcolm Hoenlein. Boris Silberman. What we’re seeing now is the Russian’s doing their best to stop Ukranian sovereignty without sending in troops. Eastern part of Ukrain is the lifeblood of Crimea. If Putin holds 40,000 troops on the border, something will happen.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 2, Block B:  Malcolm Hoenlein. David Schenker. Lebanese population is complaining—their army is killing Suni’s in Syria now. Syria is a country that can’t be put back together again, especially since the U.S. is sitting out. YouTube video show it appears some rebels are now using heavy anti-tank weapons against each other. It’s a question of what the influx of weapons is going to do. There are going to be U.S. weapons that leak to the bad guys, and if we don’t get in and help the “less bad guys” there’s going to be trouble.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 2, Block C:  Malcolm Hoenlein. Ahmad Majidyar. A complete withdraw of U.S. troops would not be good right now. A message needs to be sent to Afghans that the United States is not abandoning the Afghan government. For the elections it would be important for the winner to not have a winner take all mentality. Talks with the Taliban have been a disaster, because they’ve offered members of the Taliban concessions and it return the Taliban has only responded by stepping up violence.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 2, Block D: Malcolm Hoenlein.  Mohsen Sazegara. Iran believes there will be no accounting of its conduct, it’s done, there will not be a penalty. It’s relying on an extension, so it can continue with the enrichment of uranium (??)

Hour Three

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein. Israel launched a private satellite today. It’s the seventh one Israel has in orbit. It’s a surveillance satellite, because Israel doesn’t think anyone is looking out for them. The satellite has the ability to track license plate numbers.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein. Alan Baker. John Kerry’s efforts haven’t been suspended with the Palestinians, but whether it will lead to anything is questionable. The current crisis seems to have been planned by the Palestinians. They’re more interested in becoming recognized as a state than making peace with Israel.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 3, Block C: Robert Schmidt. Bloomberg.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 3, Block D:  Robert

APRIL 9, 2014 AT 8:20 AM

Congress and NASA administrator Charles Bolden battled over ISS, Russia, crew transport, and commercial space yesterday in a hearing before Congress.

Not surprising. Congress wants to know what NASA will do if Russia pulls out of ISS and Bolden really has few options if they do. He in turn was trying to get Congress to focus on funding commercial space so that we can launch our own astronauts to ISS and not depend on the Russians. A true confederacy of dunces. More here.

APRIL 9, 2014 AT 3:21 PM

The competition heats up: XCOR today took delivery of the cockpit assembly of its Lynx suborbital space plane.

They have said they will begin flight tests later this summer, followed by tourist suborbital flights at some point thereafter.

APRIL 9, 2014 AT 3:18 PM

A Russian Progress freighter successfully docked with ISS on Wednesday, rendezvousing with the station using the fast track approach of six hours.

APRIL 10, 2014 AT 8:58 AM

India’s Mangalyaan Mars orbiter is now halfway to Mars.

India, unlike Israel, wants to conquer the stars, so the success of their first interplanetary mission means a lot to them.APRIL 10, 2014 AT 8:55 AMOn Wednesday Israel launched its tenth satellite, spy satellite Ofek 10.

This story is only noteworthy in that the launch shows Israel’s very capable abilities to independently launch its own rockets and satellites into orbit. The country however really isn’t competing with the rest of the world in the race to conquer the universe. Their focus is solely surveillance and reconnaissance for security reasons, plus having the missile capability to deliver payloads long distances.

Culturally, the bulk of Israel’s population is in Israel because that’s where they want to be. Going to the stars is not their priority.

Update: Nor does it matter that there is an Israeli team competing in the Google X Prize contest to land an unmanned private rover on the Moon. While there might be individual Israelis who want to settle Mars, the culture’s focus is still going to be on strengthening Israel itself.

APRIL 10, 2014 AT 9:21 AM

Richard Branson manipulates the press again

Two stories today from Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic:

Richard Branson is “90 percent” certain they will launch passengers in 2014

Richard Branson launches search for the child who inspired him to found Virgin Galactic

The quote from the first story is especially entertaining:
Read More

Hour Four

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 4, Block A: Tom Wilson.  Is Iran on a Path to Exceeding Oil Export Limits?

Timothy Wilson 8th April 2014 - FDD Policy Brief Under the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) proposed by the P5+1, between January 20 and July 20, 2014, Iran is granted $7 billion in sanctions relief, which includes easing restrictions on oil exports. As it has been widely reported, Iran has taken advantage of this window, initiating a flurry of business opportunities. What has not been reported is that by mid-May, Iran may reach the allowed limits on crude oil exports.

According to the State Department website, the JPOA sanctions relief “pauses efforts to further reduce Iran’s crude oil exports, enabling the current importers of Iranian crude oil – China, Japan, South Korea, India, Turkey, and Taiwan – to maintain purchases at current average levels during the JPOA period.” A senior State Department official explained during a background brief that the U.S. plans to monitor Iran’s exports, to “look at the aggregate over time,” and to “take appropriate action if we begin to have concerns.”

Open source shipping data, derived from Lloyd’s List Intelligence, Marine Traffic, and Digital Seas, suggests that Iran could be deriving greater benefit from the JPOA sanctions relief than intended. The total capacity of the vessels departing Iran with oil have increased significantly.

This analysis led me to write a brief which is at

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 4, Block B: Michael Auslin. No need to argue for NATO's relevance

Michael Auslin | Forbes | April 4, 2014 Today marks the 65th anniversary of NATO, signed between the United States, Canada, and ten European nations on April 4, 1949. Today, there are 28 member states, many from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, with more nations waiting to join. NATO's Partnership for Peace program, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in January, brings another 22 countries, many from the former Soviet Bloc, into regular exchange with the organization, including Russia itself. Many have called NATO the world's most successful alliance, being a primary tool of the West during the Cold War. Now, with Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea and threat to Eastern Europe, NATO's relevance is back on the front pages of newspapers worldwide.

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 4, Block C:  Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience by Eileen Cronin

Thursday  27 March  2014 / Hour 4, Block D:  Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience by Eileen Cronin

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