The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Air Date: 
December 19, 2012

Photo: PASADENA, Calif. -- Twin NASA probes orbiting Earth's moon have generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. The new map, created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. Data from the two washing machine-sized spacecraft also will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.)



Co-hosts: Gordon Chang,, and David Livingston, The Space Show

Wednesday 905P Eastern Time:  Jan 1992,  Deng Xioping's southern tour to Shenzen; Maoists had taken over the govt, but tour to economically liberated region signals that the Maoist power was declining and the new regime would be more amenable to market forces, private enterprises;  Xi repeats this with intention of signalling something similar – but this is a fundamentally statist system under the hegemony of the Party. To signal reforms, get rid of the party – perhaps like Taiwan, which is a much more efficient system.  Ten years of Hu Jintao in power: abolition of the agricultural tax, which created more problems than it solved.

Wednesday 920P Eastern Time: Anne Stevenson-Yang, co-founder and Research Director of J Capital Research, in re: Chinese economy

Wednesday 935P Eastern Time:   Maria Zuber, PI of Grail Mission, in re: Ebb and Flow circumaviate the noon at a very low altitude, got highest-res gravity fields for any planet other than Earth We're trying to reconstruct the Moon's history. A key event was soon after the planets formed hey ewer bombarded by asteroids left over from the formation of planets. Look at when the impacts took place on M gone, having been subducted or destroyed. Dvpt of the gravity field helps us greatly in navigation around the Moon and other acts. Looking or lava tubes and places where an astronaut could hide in event of an asteroid shower.  Ebb and Flow  had to crash on the surface: the Ms gravity field is extremely bumpy, uneven; so when the robots ran out  of fuel, we had them do a "controlled de-orbit."   Found significant fracturing going down tens of miles; must exist for other terrestrial planets, probably Mars, which may have had a surface ocean until climate changed drastically in its early history. [Much more! Listen to podcast.]  Aluminum abundance on Moon same as on Earth?  . . .  We met all our milestones and came in under budget.  I'm happy.

Wednesday 950P Eastern Time:  Michael Auslin, AEI, in re: Japan.  Mr Abe of LDP wins; what of Chinese provocations – did the play a part in Abe's victory (291 of the 480 seats in the Lower House)? Not – recession, deflation, neglect of the other Party, the DPJ, to meet its marks. elections now are less about the Parties than about the wishes of the voters, who'll kick out anyone they don’t prefer.  There was lots of stimulus spending and pump-priming; Abe may take a somewhat more hawkish tack.  Fundamental questions abt Japanese society: till recently, outright competition was seen as unhelpful, needed to spread the goods around. Japan is still feeling his way toward a more open political system, willingness to tackle old socio-political structures and unleash the innovative capacity of he Japanese people.  /  Chinese military-geographic aggression: Abe "has some terrible ideas, but" has tried to engage multilaterally; will reach out to other regional democracies.

"Though official results are not expected until Dec. 17, exit polls show that Japan's Liberal Democratic Party won between 275 and 300 seats of the lower parliamentary house's 480 seats, taking back power after three years in opposition, AP reported Dec. 16, citing public broadcaster NHK. The LDP will likely form a coalition government with longtime partner Komeito and control roughly 320 seats in total. The Japanese political system has seen a rise in popular nationalists bent on reform -- a trend that could ultimately led to pos-twar Japan's metamorphosis into a more assertive regional power."


Wednesday 1005P (705P Pacific Time):  Richard Fisher, Senior Fellow, Asian Military Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, in re:  North Korean predators. Missile test: surprising that after three attempts it actually worked – wobbly orbit, but can arm a nuclear missile that can reach the US – within five years. Liquid- or solid fuel ICBM, seen this past April.  Likely that China sold the missiles to DPRK; the co that makes the truck that DPRK used is ore famous for making solid-fuel missiles. With mobile launcher on 16-wheel tell, very hard to find a missile, giving DPRK high chance of surprising the US and everybody else, Chilean-Peruvian missile race coming up because of the sale some years ago.  Our supine govts are doing nothing; the American people are not being served. 

China has it s finger, hand and arm in North Korean, Pakistani and Iranian nuclear military operations. We need to stand up to them, say that if China doesn’t stop, we'll arm our friends and Allies. US relaxed attitude has created a very difficult situation.  Note: Zimbabwe. and Japan is dvpg it second IRBM; eke Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, others.  "Pres Fisher" wd say to China: Take back the technology or your 157,000 students studying in the US will go home within a month.   The NPY is irrelevant: it was always designed to stop the US; they never had any intention of stopping, The bipolar world – a fiction – now is the Twenty-first Century: North Korea is not a bad boy to be corrected; is, in fact, representative of the future.


Wednesday 1020P (720P Pacific Time): Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director at The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, in re:   Breakthrough: woman elected president of South Korea. Pres Park, daughter of Park Chung-hee (good economics, dreadful human rights) ought to pass North Korea Human Rights Act in the parliament, the National Assembly. There's been one such in the US since 1974; also one in Japan.  Expect strong US-ROK alliance. Imagine a summit between Mrs ParK and Kim Jong-eun!  She could hardly observe the etiquette the North might want.  DPRK ha just engaged in grave provocations, so any engagement needs to be not in a hurry.  DPRK has seized assets of a Soutt Korean businessman. How to do this – Southerners buy back their own hotel?  Serious concerns about egregious behavior.


Wednesday 1035P (735P Pacific Time): Kelley Currie, Senior Fellow with the Project 2049 Institute, in re: Burma.  BBC returns to Burma: a positive step. Amazing renaissance of private magazine and papers criticizing govt, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, on a wide range of topics, and not censored as in the past.  Even exiled media returning, and underground media surfacing.  Beeb has a large audience in Burma; but still on short-wave. US has VOA and Radio Free Asia, also w substantial audiences in Burma. All broadcast media are still state-run. Used to be illegal to listen to external radio, not it's not.  Necessary but insufficient condition for media reforms.   Need to dismantle censorship institutions.  . . .   Lots of vested interests, harsh and pushing back. Is this reversible? You bet – look at Mali (now fractured by some f he most miserable persons on Earth, al Qaeda)  China is just waiting for it to fail.


Wednesday 1050P (750P Pacific Time): Joseph Sternberg, WSJ Asia editorial board, in re: Chinese Communist Party finally paying a little attn to the circumstances of he worker – but don’t hold your breath. Party has historically used "unions" to suppress pay; now, trying to pressure employers and foreigner to increase pay just a leetle bit.    Bangladeshi laborers get less money than Chinese workers do. 

Wednesday 1105P (805P Pacific Time): The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics by Paul J. Bracken; 1 of 4

Wednesday 1120P (820P Pacific Time):   The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics by Paul J. Bracken; 2 of 4

Wednesday 1135P (835P Pacific Time): The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics by Paul J. Bracken; 3 of 4

Wednesday 1150P (850P Pacific Time): The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics by Paul J. Bracken; 4 of 4


Wednesday/Thurs 1205A (905 Pacific Time): Bill McGurn, WSJ, in re: go Fighting Irish, and what about speaking of the unborn during the run-up to the game with Crimson Tide?

Wednesday/Thurs  1220A (920 Pacific Time): David Drucker, Roll Call, in re: the GOP rebuilds, from the community level; interview with Reince Priebus of RNC

Wednesday/Thurs  1235A (935P Pacific Time): Sid Perkins, Seience, Mon 17 , in re: ancient soil with pre-Cambrian creatures

Wednesday/Thurs  1250A  (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt. David Grinspoon, Denver Museum, in re: update on Venus, the volcanoes of VVenus

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Music (using New York City broadcast times)  

9:00 hour:     Infamous

10:00 hour:   Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

11:00 hour:    Crysis

midnight hour:  Frost/Nixon; Babylon AD