Monday 17 December 2012
Map, above: nations actively pursuing bioweapons programs. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bioterror/glob_nf.html#iran
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-host: John Avlon, CNN & The Daily Beast
Monday 905P Eastern Time (605P Pacific Time): .Jeff Bliss, The Bliss Index, In re: California.
Monday 920P Eastern Time (620P Pacific Time): . Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: major biological warfare labs in Iran, in Malvinabad, near the Caspian on top of a high mountain, can be seen only by satellite. Much expanded from 2010 to 2012. Believed to have 12 Russian (3 women among the Russians) and 28 Iranian scientists; 2 elevators down 40' in the mountain. Have successfully dvpd 4 bioagents: anthrax, encephalitis, a third called Yellow Grain – no smell, and 48 hrs after impact it kills those infected; jointly w North Korea– and a fourth one we know not what it is. Also microbial agents and genetic alterations of anthrax to circumvent Western anti-anthrax drugs.
Iran has successfully done chem. and bio for years, esp in collaboration with Russia. See GoogleEarth photo: YAMAHDI - "calling out Mahdi! - carved in the ground. Theology: it's naïve to carve that in the mountain, but the military and defensive projects are all encoded and pursued in belief that the end of the world is imminent. This is not the only site with a religious call carved into the land.
Monday 935P Eastern Time (635P Pacific Time): . Eli Lake, Newsweek and Daily Beast, in re: Chuck Hegel as possible SecDef. Hegel voted against designating IRGC as a terrorist group; doesn't like sanctions. Subscribes to the thesis of the Jewish lobby. Was on the America's Advisory Group of Deutsche Bank while it was laundering money for Iran. Susan Rice does represent the president's foreign policy thinking. May become Natl Security Advisor. For UN: Samanatha Power? Wrote book about Sergio Melho[?], her hero. The ascendancy of John Kerry toward Statehood. Not favor the Arab Spring; OK with Russia? Has cultivated his own relationships with international leaders – is a sort of Kosovo Democrat, while Clinton is a _____ Democrat. And China??
Monday 950P Eastern Time (650P Pacific Time): Charlie Savage, NYT, in re: Mental illness and guns. Justice Dept. Shelved Ideas for Background Checks: A proposal listed steps to reduce the risk of guns falling into the hands of mentally ill people and criminals [out of Gabby Giffords events]. DoJ was overwhelmed by the politics of Fast and Furious, let other critical issues slide. Now, that original work may become a list of current recommendations. Constitution prevents Feds from demanding data from states; Feds instead try to use financial enticements, but haven't much money. Feds want not only info abt criminals, but to include persons deemed nit mentally competent.
Monday 1005P (705P Pacific Time): .Taegan Goddard, Political Wire; John Fund, NRO; John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast, Newsweek Intl.; in re: Gun Control Lessons from LBJ / Joseph Califano: "If ever there were a moment for President Obama to learn from history, it is now, in the wake of Friday's shootings at the elementary school at Newtown, Conn. The timely lesson for Obama, drawn from the experience of Lyndon B. Johnson -- the last president to aggressively fight for comprehensive gun control -- is this: Demand action on comprehensive gun control immediately from this Congress or lose the opportunity during your presidency."
Connecticut is one of ten states not having a provision to incarcerate persons who clearly are a danger to themselves and/or others; it has among the toughest gun laws and weakest capacity to detain mentally ill potential criminals. All the recent cases: young en with mental illness. Joe Manchin, who has AAA NRA ratings, said this is enough: reinstate assault weapons ban and (massive ammo belts). When we had an assault weapons ban, unfortunately that did not diminish the number of killings.
Monday 1020P (720P Pacific Time): .Taegan Goddard, Political Wire; John Fund, NRO; John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast, Newsweek Intl.; continued: debt ceiling hits in March 2013.
Monday 1035P (735P Pacific Time): . Salil Tripathi in Dakka, Bangladesh, in re: Losing Ravi Shankar. "Ravi Shankar’s presence on the Indian aesthetic plane has been so constant, that with his passing an essential part of what being an Indian means has disappeared— as if the gulmohur tree is now bereft of flowers; the spring fields are without the flame of the forest; the monsoon sky weeps without the dancing peacock." "There are elements within the Burmese army which still appear to be very close to the PLA. Whether WMDs are involved, I don't know. But the monks who were protesting a copper mine were burnt after some unusual ammo was used against them. Rumors say it was phosphorus - some monks marched in Rangoon today, but it was rather peaceful."
Monday 1050P (750P Pacific Time): Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: China's national economic statistics have long been known to be bogus; now transactions are fabricated to cover money-laundering and illegal transfers – these are reported to the govt, which reports them straight-faced. People actually lie to the Ministry?? Fancy that. Exporters believe the RMB will increase, so overstate their export sales, which allows them to translate to dollars to RMB for the bank and so be able legally to deposit the dollars and pull out RMB. It’s a country of people just stealing and lying – it’s chaos. They also fabricate fake trades to get export-tax rebates. This is the kind of stuff that happens right before bank failures. China looked great in Sept & Oct; then not in Nov & Dec – fabrications slowed down.
Gini coefficient: 0.0 means absolute equality; 1.0 means absolutely unequal (only one person has income). This is now worse than in the Ch'ing Dynasty. In fact, 0.61 may be too low - may be 0.7, which is off the charts in inequality. "South Africa’s inequality may soon be equalled by an unexpected rival: communist China. According to a new survey, the top tenth of Chinese households took home 57% of the income in 2010. The country’s Gini coefficient was 0.61, far higher than previous estimates (which ranged from 0.41 to 0.48). The survey, known as the China Household Finance Survey (CHFS), was overseen by Gan Li of Texas A&M University and Southwestern University in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Modelled on the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, which covers almost 6,500 American families every three years, the CHFS covers 8,438 households in China, excluding Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Hong Kong and Macau.
"Surveying China’s multitudes is a daunting task. Having randomly selected 320 neighbourhoods to visit, Mr Gan’s team discovered that some had only half as many homes as the official data suggested, others had twice as many. Not everyone was willing to answer questions. The Southwestern students who carried out the interviews, which were done in 2011, had doors shut in their faces and insults hurled in their direction. They were obliged to try each household six times before giving up." Chinese group took the Mayan prophecy: Eastern Lightning, Church of Almighty God – hold that the world will end soon, speak of slaying the big red dragon – Communists – so now are being rounded up and incarcerated.
Thousands of Hamas supporters rallied in the West Bank on Thursday for the first time since the movement's violent split from Fatah in 2007. The festival in Nablus celebrated the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas under the banner "Sijjil stones are the path to freedom," in reference to a Quranic verse. The secretary-general of Fatah's revolutionary council Amin Maqboul, Nablus governor Jibrin al-Bakri and other Fatah officials joined the rally, which began at the al-Nasr Mosque in the Old City of Nablus.
Monday 1105P (805P Pacific Time): .Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Sen Daniel Inoue, passed away at age 88 at Walter Read: a true American hero who enlisted right after Pearl Harbor, rcd 16 mil honors, including the Medal of Honor; lost his right arm elected Senator in 1952 right after Hawaii became a state. Was perhaps second-longest-serving Senator; a great friend, a great leader. Humble, modest, did his job every day. Great friend of New York and Israel; a servant of the American people. Enormously knowledgable, a mesmerizing speaker. The ideal of what a Senator ought be. Demo in Nablus: "Kassam/Tel Aviv/destroy it," in response to 25th anniversary of Hamas. Looking to overwhelm al Aqsa Brigade? Poll: 88% of Palestinians believe in armed struggle; 42% of West Bank prefer Hamas to Fatah.
Monday 1120P (820P Pacific Time): Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Syria, Iran, sanctions. Syrian rebels have been breaking into Palestinian camps; concerned that Palestinians might join the rebels, Assad's jets bombed and killed lots of people. Jordan's Abdullah said that Assad could stay in office for a few years militarily but economically for only a few months. Chemical weapons: major production center near Aleppo; fellow in charge has defected and given info. Several thousand Syrian soldiers guard, but leave to join other intense fighting, Intl fear. US & Euros training troops to handle these sensitive weapons. All very iffy.
Parties around Assad won't let him go: whole system would collapse and the stragglers would be killed.
Monday 1135P (835P Pacific Time): . Richard Epstein, Hoover, re FDA and freedom of speech with regard to use of prescription drugs for off-label use. "Between 25 and 60 percent of drugs are prescribed for off-label uses. For cancer patients, that number may be as high as 65 percent. The bottom line is that these drugs help sick patients recover and they save lives. Yet, the FDA criminally prosecutes drug companies that promote and publicize any off-label uses of drugs. If the off-label uses are indeed beneficial, anything that slows down their dissemination could mean the difference between disease or recovery—life or death—in thousands of sick individuals. The unbounded power of the FDA to block the use of such drugs does not square with any defensible conception of individual autonomy or freedom of speech. The FDA is vulnerable. The Supreme Court should cut it down to size . . ."
Monday 1150P (850P Pacific Time): . Richard Epstein, Hoover, continued.
Monday/Tues 1205A (905 Pacific Time): . Julia Angwin, WSJ, in re: Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime. Not everyone was on board. "This is a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public," Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security, argued in the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions. A week later, the attorney general signed the changes into effect.
Monday/Tues 1220A (920 Pacific Time): . David Drucker, Roll Call, in re: Repiublican senators fret voting for any tax increases because of the primary threat for re-election in 2014, especially Chambliss of GA.
Monday/Tues 1235A (935P Pacific Time): . Alexis Madrigal, Atlantic, on the year 29012 in digital, what worked, what didn’t and look to the future: The Year in Tech - biggest technology stories of 2012. Technology changes year to year, phone to phone, quarter to quarter. Here at The Atlantic, we like to focus on how those changes happen, the ideas that animate them, the people who execute them, the users who transform them.
Monday/Tues 1250A (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt. Peter Bogucki, Princeton, in re: Seven-thousand-year-old cheese manufacture.
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Music (using New York City broadcast times)
9:00 hour: Argo; Bourne Legacy; Person of Interest.
10:00 hour: Person of Interest; Ravi Shankar; Skyfall.
11:00 hour: Argo; Ghost-Writer.