The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 7 January 2021

Air Date: 
January 07, 2021

Colleagues: Sebastian Gorka, America First radio and Fox; David Livingston, The Space Show; and Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents
Hour One
 Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 1, Block A:  Victor Davis Hanson: @VDHanson; Hoover Institution, and The Case for Trump,in re:  Yesterday’s disturbance in the Capital, and the Georgia vote.  Seeing only what the camera showed, it looked a lot like what we saw at the White House last summer and nowhere near as crazed as what we saw in Seattle. The difference was that the Congress was in session; and the Capitol police didn't expect violence so the splinter group surprised them. Today, a feast of Schadenfreude.  I did not like seeing a young man with a Confederacy flag.  That building is about defeating the Stars and Bars.  Same with BLM: they may have credentials, but they're not educated. Mrs Pelosi, like the Eveready bunny, just keeps going.  She’s ready to impeach Trump again as a ploy to [console] AOC and Sanders.  So desperate to reach he 25thAmendment that they got Ron Rosenstein to wear a wire; and Trump aced a Montreal Cognitive Test.  Unlikely that Joe Biden could do that. Weaponizing situations.  Dems are supposedly forbidden to give money to anyone who offered to challenge the electoral appointments.  Salem witch trials. Mattis was fired by Obama; Bolton was hated.  When they left govt with Trump  . . . . everyone has to calm down; can’t have a republic if the Speaker tears up a State of the Union speech.  High Noonand Shane.   Trump brought in a lot of skills to break the logjam – the economy, the Middle East, China; but the people around him hate him.
 Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 1, Block B:  Victor Davis Hanson: @VDHanson; Hoover Institution, and The Case for Trump,in re:  Students at Hillsdale are aware that [something is wrong]; Stanford students are not. Students are getting married much later, can't buy a house: the cost of university at $30,000 a year is preventing that.  A curriculum that creates ignorant but arrogant students.  University says, “We’re not responsible for helping you get a job.”  It all leads back to university, which has become corrupt, needs an audit and transparency.  A Medieval society: a bunch of very rich administrators and full professors, all subsidized by part-time teachers making  fraction of that with no benefits—with a progressive, egalitarian patina.  The Animal Farm pigs don’t want to be attacked by animals— “I’m beyond reproach, am tenured.”    They usually pick on some part-time teacher who has no tenure. Peasants outside the castle, with the faculty living up in the keep.  Alumni donate huge endowments that inexplicably are not taxable.  
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 1, Block C:  Robert Zimmerman,; in re: The Mars rover:  the wheel and drill – covering the same area as one I’d posted previously, and nothing had changed.    Overview map and an oblique view on “Curiosity on the shore of a sand sea.” Dark green area, Sea of  ____.  . . . A glacier-filled canyon on Mars. Buttes and mesas.   Mars is not the Sahara; it's more like Antarctica.
 Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 1, Block D:  Robert Zimmerman,; in re:  Starship in Boca Chica, Texas — The 500,00o-foot hop to test the rocket and its fins; to control its return so it can land vertically and be ready  to launch again in an hour. Cube sats: the payload release mechanism accidentally released early.  No comment from SpaceX or NASA.  SLS: a full eight minutes. On Jan 17, the full test. 
Hour Two
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 2, Block A:  Sebastian Gorka, @SebGorka, America First radio, in re:  Trump garnered more votes than any previous president, ncluding many from Blacks and Hispanics.  Can anyone believe that a cognitively challenged candidate got more votes than the first Black president?  With 13 days to go, the talk of 25thAmendment is spurious—pouring gasoline on the fire of resentment. 
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 2, Block B:  Sebastian Gorka, @SebGorka, America First radio, in re:    The Trump years and the Biden foreign policy.
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 2, Block C:  Conrad Black, @ConradMBlack, publisher, littérateur, biographer, commentator; the National Post; in re:  NATO: after WWII, free elections were held; Western powers kept their commitments and the USSR did not. NATO was set up to reduce temptations of political extremism and to protect against the Soviet Union. Finally included Turkey and Greece; achieved its purpose without having to fire a shot.  So now, what is its purpose? Someone needs to do some creative thinking—excluding only Switzerland, Sweden and Finland. ..  . . When the Cold War crisis followed, we had [equitable leadership]  As things have been less [effective],  may have to do with the diminution of a challenge. Trump refocused on China, and said he US simply can't pay for everyone in NATO.  I think it could become an alliance of democratic states, thus needn’t be confined to a geographic region, and can include Israel and Australia. Function is to defend democracy. Gates said he liked Biden but on every foreign policy decision for thirty years Biden was wrong. Anyone who enters State talking about global warming and democracy—it’s not his job to say how others govern themselves.  
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 2, Block D: Chris Riegel: @Scala, @STRATACACHE; in re:  HP, Oracle, McKesson, Schwab: all leaving California, affecting the growth of Silicon Valley. They’ve been there for decades, for more attractive conditions in Texas.   It’s like the Yankees leaving New York; should send warnings to Sacramento. California is in for a very rough ride. What's Texas doing?   Austin is a good mix of low tax, bz-friendly, and creative. Californians can move there and retain a lot of their money. The high costs of NY and NJ are similar.  People leave in droves and do their jobs remotely.   For the moment, the Sacramento legislature is stacked so blue you'd have to have a revolution to have them think business is not the enemy. Is Canada also attractive?  Ontario is. How quickly will it recover from the pandemic? May states are trying to lure in California companies, just as Sacramento is pushing them out.
Hour Three
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 3, Block A:  IDF Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael (Mickey) Segall, and Malcolm Hoenlein, @conf_of_pres, Conference of Presidents, in re: Iran is a bigger threat now than before because there are so many more targets the US must account for. The Supreme Leader within hours of the targetting of the nuclear scientist issued a claim that he’d been martyred and more threats. Said Israel would be destroyed within 25 years; thus have never given up their nuclear development, are enriching to 20%.   Houthis, Saudi oil regions, Iraq—using proxies, moving toward a future retaliation against Israel.  Iranian Ministry of Intelligence is undergoing changes. Natanz —although no one knows exactly  . . .  Iran represents a constant threat; but they talk big and the threat is the [future] weapon. Their main testing ground for Cruise missiles is [proxy states].  Watch Yemen, which is becoming the main testing ground for precise weapons, incl drones with weapons, boats loaded with explosives.  Also piracy in Strait of Hormuz.   They avoid using their own borders; so Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen, Iraq, Syria.  South American cartels, drugs, assassinations. Scandinavia, Europe. The drug routes start in Afghanistan, go through Turkey into Europe. 
IDF Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael (Mickey) Segall, an expert on strategic issues with a focus on Iran, terrorism, and the Middle East, is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 3, Block B: David Albright, @thegoodisis, Malcolm Hoenlein, @conf_of_pres, Conference of Presidents, in re: Iran enrichment, South Korean vessel, Biden Administration.  The decision to go up to 20% is serious, being 90% of weapons-grade.    Could do a breakout in 45 days, have enough uranium for a bomb. The interesting twist is: they’re now using a thousand centrifuges.  Right now, we're still at the three-month point.  This shouldn't motivate a rush to return to a nuclear deal.   Still have many months to go.  They’ll probably go for a nuclear test before actually using a bomb, likely in six to nine months.  Rushing back to this deal is probably the worst thing you could do.  Assassination of Fakhrizadeh:  how does his departure affect the nuclear program?  He was almost invisible till he was killed.  He brought critical managerial skills; Iran has a shortage of people who can pull it all together. Meeting of five people: three have been killed, one almost was, and the fifth may have had an assassination attempt against him.  
David Albright, a physicist, is founder and president of the nonprofit Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, D.C. He directs the project work of the Institute, heads its fundraising efforts, and chairs its board of directors. In addition, he regularly publishes and conducts scientific research. He has written numerous assessments on secret nuclear weapons programs throughout the world.

Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 3, Block C: Ariel Kahana, @ arik3000, Malcolm Hoenlein, @conf_of_pres, Conference of Presidents, in re:  Israel aims to vaccinate its whole population by the end of March; may be the first nation in the world to end the pandemic.  Turkey is cousining up to Israel: trustworthy? We did have formal ties before, as well as continuing commercial ties. Problem is that Turkey is hosting Hamas; we couldn’t normalize ties with Ankara while that obtains. Upcoming Israeli elections. End of the pandemic is close to the 23 March election; will have an effect.  Sudan normalizing ties with Israel: excellent news.  Only four years ago, [looked impossible].  Need to follow the [discussions] step by step, is complicated. The Qatari-Saudi [alliance] is something I’m [not sure I can comment on]. 
Ariel Kahana is Israel Hayom'ssenior diplomatic correspondent.

Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 3, Block D:  Malcolm Hoenlein, @conf_of_pres, Conference of Presidents, in re:  The Iranian majlis is making threat threats against Israel; is much more than noise in light of weaponization and nukes. Have to take the threats of dictators seriously, incl the destruction of Israel by 2040. Also calls for the destruction of the US, get all US forces out of the Middle East.   Europe also should take this seriously. Hacking: documents from a cyberattack that will make it harder for Hezbollah to manage its govt; Masked man in a distorted voice on computer—Aoun, Nabih Berry, behind him. Revenge by fellow Lebanese, not outsiders, who are extorting of the Lebanese: 200, 000 names revealed with accounts in Lebanon and Europe.
       The false claim that Israel is withholding vaccine from Palestinians: an absolute lie. Palestinians and Israelis are vaccinated at exactly the same rate; the PA runs a healthcare system that not only is inefficient but has refused vaccine from Israel.  Hamas raises funds: 60% are invested by the Moslem Brotherhood, 30% go to Hamas. Huge billi0ns.   Missiles flown over the Golan Heights. Syrian mil defectors report on activities. People killed and injured. Iran transferring weapons in Eastern and Southern Syria.  Israel sent in rockets to protect itself; Russia doesn’t activate its antimissile system because it also doesn't want to see Iran build up its missile [supply] there.
Hour Four
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 4, Block A:  Veronique de Rugy, @veroderugy, Mercatus Center, in re: The fact that President Biden looks with great favor on stimulus packages.  “An everything bailout bill.”— David Stockman.   Will the bill grow or shrink? One was passed, but the only thing that didn't make it in was the $2,000 check that President Trump wanted for people stuck without income because of the pandemic.   It has bailouts for the Kennedy Center, Pakistani gender studies, everything. Also for fiscally creative states such as New Jersey and New York.  The GOP remembers fiscal responsibility when it’s not in power. Expect a lot more debt and deficits.
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 4, Block B:  Hotel Mars, episode n.   Jeff Foust, @jeff_foust, Space News; in re:  What’s to be done with the ISS under Biden?  Note cracks in Zvezda.  It’s to go till 2024. Older space station will need more repairs; what might replace it?  Likely efforts to create commercial space stations.  
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 4, Block C:  Bruce Thornton, Hoover, Front Page magazine; in re: Greeks venerated culture, conducting affairs with honor. Hellenes.   The parochial boundaries of your tribe or city-state are not the whole boundaries of your being. Barbarians – not so. It's about the way you live; and critically: how did you live politically—autonomous and free, took control of your life? That was the hallmark of being a Greek.   How you govern your life.  In the rural San Joaquin Valley, 80% Mexican-American: that’s where it first hit me that I can’t look at one of these kids whom I don’t know and have any opinion based on who his or her parents were.  All different.  “If you’re Black, come back; if you're brown, stick around; if you're white, take a hike.” Today, Hispanicmeans only “Hispanophone.”  Intermarriage among “races” will diminish our absurd attention to appearance. Once upon a time, it really mattered if you were civilized
Thursday 7 January 2021 / Hour 4, Block D:  Mary Anastasia O’Grady: @MaryAnastasiaOG;@WSJOpinion;WSJ editorial board; The Americas column; in re: Argentina has debt and no way to solve it. The union problem is acute there right now. You could take the same column for the 80s, 90s, late 200s, and all the fiscal and monetary problems are the same: they print pesos to pay bills, get inflation, default on their debt, do the cycle again. When they have to import things, basically priced in dollars, they pay more.