Thursday 19 July 2018y
Photo: Iguazú Falls, Triborder Area along the junction of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil; home of Hizbollah, Islamist gangs, smuggling, money-laundering, global criminal activities.
See also: TERRORIST AND ORGANIZED CRIME GROUPS IN THE TRI-BORDER AREA (TBA) OF SOUTH AMERICA (Federation of American Scientists) https://fas.org/irp/cia/product/frd0703.pdf
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Mary Kissel, Wall Street Journal, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 1, Block A: Jerry Hendrix, NRO; Telemus Group VP; was Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security); retired Captain in the United States Navy, whose staff assignments included tours with the Chief of Naval Operation’s Executive Panel. @JerryHendrixII. ; US sent two Arleigh Burke-class warships through the Taiwan Strait; since then, Taiwan has been under threat by China wit hundred of missiles aimed at it. China also has sought to undercut Taiwan’s relations internationally. China was disinvited from this year’s RIMPAC* mil exercises, so it sent an observation (spy) vessel to luff at the edges.
The way China approaches all this, esp naval strategy, seems to be backwards. Have carefully read Mahan and act not accordingly. They seem to believe that politics will play our n he sea; and for naval, that they’ll project power from the land. China knows that its jugular is the line of trade from the Middle East. . . . After 1991 Desert Storm (lasted 100 hours), China and Russia realized we’d begun to delineate levels of mil operations; saw that if they could not elevate their deeds above Level 3, the US won't respond with force. Consider this in connection with cyber: they continue bad actions but never above Level 3. . . . No one tells the US whom to befriend or where to sail.
China will surpass the US in several years but not now. US is at 271? Ships. China is bldg. ships and subs at an impressive rate of speed. US ships are still better, but quantitatively we’re about to flip into second place.
From 2025 to 2035 is the decade of maximum danger: China must become great or the population will become too old. Must establish themselves are superpower in the coming ten years or their time will have passed.
* RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, is the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise. RIMPAC is held biennially during June and July of even-numbered years from Honolulu, Hawaii. It is hosted and administered by the United States Navy's Pacific Fleet, headquartered at Pearl Harbor, in conjunction with the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard forces under the control of the Governor of Hawaii. The US invites military forces from the Pacific Rim and beyond to participate. With RIMPAC, the United States Pacific Command seeks to enhance interoperability among Pacific Rim armed forces, ostensibly as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations. Described by the US Navy as a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 1, Block B: Mary Kissel, WSJ, in re: the word “treason.” Ruth Marcus, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post, said today: You must quit the Trump Adm now to save your soul; to save your reputation and dignity, or what's left of them.
We don’t believe that we’ll lose our souls if we remain members of the Republican Party. . . . Appreciate the checks and balances of our govt; today the Senate unanimously opposed Pres Trump’s thought to ________ Putin; the WH backed down. Monica Crowley says that this language will escalate. “Treason” is off the charts, and yesterday the NYT called for the replacement of Devin Nunes!
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 1, Block C: Francis Rose, Francis Rose, @FRoseDC. Host of @GovMattersTV at ABC7News, NewsChannel8, Washington; in re: No [avoiding] the accusations: the word “purge” is significant. “Ahead of Robert Willkie’s likely confirmation to lead the Dept of Veterans’ Affairs, Pres Trump’s staff are purging those who might oppose the president’s policies.” Purge sounds like the Chekists, or the French Revolution. Peter Shelby, former Human Capital officer (maybe sixth-ranking officer at the agency) at the VA, very vocally favoring Pres Trump, was escorted out last week. All without the input of Robert Willkie. Continuation of the agency’s turmoil for years. Senate Veterans’ Affair Committee has approved Willkie. . . . If we can identify a bad actor in the VA we shd be able to remove them — but who’s deciding who's a bad actor? Using judgments of normal fair-minded people, or just evicting personal enemies?
What do employee unions in the federal government do, if they don't bargain pay and benefits (they don't)? One example: https://www.nextgov.com/policy/2018/07/bill-block-feds-personal-email-social-media-access-advances/149831/
Website of largest federal employee union: https://www.afge.org/ Second-largest: https://www.nteu.org/
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 1, Block D: John Fund, NRO, in re: At the DoJ, news has reached Ron Rosenstein, will protect us from sleepers and hackers. Asked Andrew C McCarthy if intemperate language of the Democrats is because of their having decided that Mueller doesn't have it? Answ: That’s logical, but here’s nothing logical abut all this.
John Fund: Post-Helsinki, Dems will claim Trump is crazy; more important, a chance to push though centralizing elections, take away that power from the states. Federal takeover of a function specified to the states in the Constitution.
Film: Red Sparrow. . . . Rosenstein is a bureaucrat, interested in his own career. , , , Chris Wray knows here are deep trouble sin the FBI with which he doesn’t want to deal. . . . John Bolton. Dan Coates, DNI, was at Aspen Security Forum, said: I didn’t know of Putin’s [activities] in advance.
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 2, Block A: Cliff May, in re: NATO, Helsinki, Iran, US-Israel relations. Putin, on his way to the Helsinki conference, had his plane with its transponder on cross into Estonian air space without permission. A cat at play. My concern is that if Putin decided to send troops to cross into a Baltic state to test NATO, NATO wouldn’t be ready. Germany has good eqpt not battle-ready. Has jets, helos, Leopard tanks , six subs – almost none of any of them is ready; almost all are are under repair. Further, almost 21,000 troops positions vacant. Same thing in France. British forces almost the same. Trump was correct to worry about Nordstream2! In NATO, US has the biggest army; Turkey has the second-biggest. Can anyone imagine Turkey defending the Baltics against Russia?? . . . Britain, France, Germany trying actively to undermine US position on Iran, which is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
NATO mission shd be to keep the jihadists out, the [Americans in NATO], and the Russians within their own borders. Germany is sedulously working to undermine US vis-a-vis Iran; German corporations, however, are on board with the US. Saudis are saying the same thing: go ahead and do bz with Iran, but then cannot at all with Saudis, Emiratis, and a bunch of others. . . . The West is not defending itself adequately.
Clifford D. May is the founder and President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan policy institute focusing on national security created immediately following the 9/11/01 attacks on the United States. Under his leadership, FDD has become one of the nation’s most highly regarded think tanks and a sought-after voice on a wide range of national security issues. He has helped assemble a staff and advisory board of the most compelling scholars and experts whose research, ideas and recommendations have shaped important policies and legislation on terrorism, economic warfare, nonproliferation, human rights, Islamism, jihadism, democratization and related issues.
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 2, Block B: Anna Borshchevskaya, in re: On its way to Helsinki, Putin’s plane kept its transponder on and without permission crossed into Estonian air space for a few minutes. When Putin met with Merkel a while ago, knowing the she’s afraid of dogs he brought in two huge dogs. As bad as the Helsinki meeting was, nothing much came out of it. Putin not only sees democracy as an opponent, but that in fact there really is no democracy anywhere; that all the talk of human rights is part of an [economic] competition with Russia. He holds that elections are rigged [??]. He holds that Russia is more democratic than the US because Russia has no Electoral College. At the mtg, Trump spoke very generally while Putin made concrete points.
Anna Borshchevskaya is the Ira Weiner Fellow at The Washington Institute, focusing on Russia's policy toward the Middle East. She is also a Ph.D. candidate at George Mason University. In addition, she is a fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy. She was previously with the Atlantic Council and the Peterson Institute for International Economics. A former analyst for a U.S. military contractor in Afghanistan, she has also served as communications director at the American Islamic Congress.
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 2, Block C: Alexandra N. Gutowski, in re: Russia & Iran. . . . Moscow has a huge restive Muslim population of its own. Without Russian aerial cover, attacks on Dara and others couldn’t take place. Great fear is Iranian-Israeli [fight], which wd upset Russia’s carefully-contrived position on the Med.
Alexandra N. Gutowski is a research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where she focuses on military affairs and is responsible for FDD’s Military Edge project and its website. Alexandra was previously a counterterrorism analyst and Evans Hanson Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C.. She was Fulbright Scholar in the UK, where she received a master’s degree from Durham University.
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 2, Block D: Joseph Humire, in re: Russia is bldg. a six-story structure nominally for fighting organized crime; in Nicaragua. Daniel Ortega, a former revolutionary, is now back in charge. The local narcoterrorists speak not Spanish but Russian?? Venezuela has collapsed; is Russia supplying oil to Nicaragua? The Bolivarian Alliance – Cuba Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia —Russia and China are very much present. Symptoms of major instability all too obvious in Venezuela now appear in Nicaragua. Hezbollah in Argentina: Triborder Area**, hub for organized crime in the Western Hemisphere, controlled by Hezbollah; amazingly, Argentina has taken a first step to control this, Barakat clan has been here for 50 years; were essential in money-laundering and drug trafficking for Hezb, but also in AMIA attack in 1993. Paraguayan extradited a Hezb member who’s now in prison in Florida, via which much useful info. Trump Adm has been taking very effective steps. Note: 75% of all Russia mil sales in Latin America go to Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Bolivia. Also, 75% of all credits and loans from China have been to the same four. The plan is to destabilize Latin America in order to damage the US, which is not prepared to deal with this.
Joseph M. Humire is the SFS Executive Director. A global security expert specializing in transnational threats in the Western Hemisphere, he provides regular briefings on international terrorism, transnational organized crime, Islamism, and Iran’s influence Latin America to various entities within the U.S. Department of Defense and intelligence community, as well as to prominent think tanks and universities around the world. He testifies frequently before the U.S. Congress on national security issues and has also testified before the European, Canadian, and Andean Parliaments, as well as the Argentine and Peruvian Congress. In 2016, Mr. Humire served as an expert witness in an important terrorism trial in Lima, Peru.
**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Frontier ; https://financialtransparency.org/the-tri-border-area-a-profile-of-the-l...
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: . . . Iranian uranium stockpile seems to be 990 tons. Significant for the entre Middle East. Bldg a centrifuge rotor factory for their nuke program. Meanwhile sanctions are painful and , unfortunately, the drought is extreme. Common or outages under intense heat. Very difficult conditions. Are taking the US to the Intl Court of Justice. Rial is down 50% this year, Urban of Hungary is visiting Israel. . . . Can’t safely walk with a skullcap in London, paris, berlin
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 3, Block B: Pinhas Inbari, in re: Gaza heating up (where did that video go?)
● https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog-july-19-2018/ (part about gaza)
Pinhas Inbari is an Israeli correspondent who has reported on Palestinian affairs for Israel Radio and the newspaper Al Hamishmar, and currently for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and several foreign media outlets. He’s written several books and articles on Palestinians, among them, The Palestinians: Between Terrorism and Statehood.
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 3, Block C: 1956: The World in Revolt, by Simon Hall
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 3, Block D: 1956: The World in Revolt, by Simon Hall
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 4, Block A: John Tamny, RealClearMatkets & Forbes.com, in re: Young Kylie Jenner Lays Waste to Deficit, Demographic and Inequality Theories. The entrepreneur Kylie Jenner started Kylie Cosmetics two years ago with a $29 lip kit, and as Forbes reports, “has sold more than $630 million worth of makeup since.”Jenner owns 100% of a company that Forbes conservatively estimates is worth $800 million. Jenner is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire ever.
Even more exciting is how Jenner did it. Her sizable net worth isn’t an effect of a large company with copious amounts of human and physical infrastructure. The latter helps explain why she owns 100 percent of it. Start-up costs were low She has just seven full-time, and five part-time employees. Manufacturing and packaging, along with sales and fulfillment, are all outsourced.
The path to a billion is smoother in the age of social media. As Jenner explained it to Forbes, “I have such easy access to my fans and customers.” Unlike past entrepreneurial endeavors reliant on immense costs related to marketing, Jenner’s got that taken care of through her 115 million Instragram followers, and a Snapchat following that exceeds Instagram. Simply stated, the feverish investment and subsequent economic growth that brought us the Internet has rendered the productivity of the individuals who understand it exponentially greater than what prevailed before. This is a major reason why I argue in my new book, The End of Work, that Millennials will be the richest generation in the history of the richest nation in the history of the world. That is, until Jenner's generation eclipses the Millennials. The young understand the technology best.
After that, and without a hint of hyperbole, Jenner’s story will upend much of what was already worthless economic theory, including the broadly held view inside the economics profession that growth causes inflation. No. Investment powers growth, and as Kylie Cosmetics reminds us, it leads to technological advances that reduce the cost of starting and running a business, along with the cost for consumers when it comes to buying from said business.
But this piece is not about the never serious Phillips Curve. Today’s column will briefly focus on the deficit hawks, demographic worriers, and anti-inequality thumbsuckers whose emotions increasingly blur the policy discussion. Rest assured that this isn’t a Democrat versus Republican thing. Goodness, both sides are well populated by those who . . . [more]
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 4, Block B: John Tamny, RealClearMatkets & Forbes.com, in re: For Michael Hiltzik, Reality Is Still Loudly Knocking at the Door. The Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik writes that “[O]f all the addictions that undermine stability in communities and society at large, surely one of the worst and most persistent is the addiction of corporate managements to pleasing their shareholders.” So much confusion in one sentence. An inconvenient truth that’s plainly eluded the aggressively imperceptive Hiltzik is that absent shareholders, there are endlessly shabby communities, very little polite society, no corporations and zero jobs. Somehow it never occurred to Hiltzik that the very shareholders he naively denigrates are the creators of all corporations and all jobs.
As readers may have figured out, Hiltzik’s latest column is about how supposedly exploitative businesses are underpaying workers; all to please those nasty shareholders. Reading the column brought to mind that scene in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall in which the self-serious man in the movie-theatre line went on and on about Marshall McLuhan despite knowing little about the media philosopher. That’s what it’s like reading Hiltzik when he presumes to comment on the compensation practices of businesses. To say he’s never run a business or invested in one is shooting fish in a crowded barrel. Hiltzik’s problem is that in trashing the source of capital, he’s revealing blindness to how businesses are opened to begin with. Such is the downside of capitalism: its advances provide a platform for the very people who strive to discredit it. In Hiltzik’s case, he would be hopeless without the investors and profit-makers about whom he speaks so negatively. Lucky for him, he’ll never have to know how hopeless. But I digress. For now. . . . [more] https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2018/07/12/for_michael_hiltzik...
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 4, Block C: The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill, by Greg Mitchell
Thursday 19 July 2018 / Hour 4, Block D: The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill, by Greg Mitchell