The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Air Date: 
August 08, 2012

Photo above:  Former police officer Abner Afuang burns a Chinese flag in front of the Department of Foreign Affairs to oppose the presence of Chinese vessels in the disputed territory in the South China Sea Friday, July 27, 2012 in suburban Pasay City, south of Manila, Philippines. Afuang called on the government to persist on its claim on Scarborough Shoal, which is within the country's economic zone. (AP Photo/Photo/Pat Roque)


--vast thanks to Danielle Fine.

Wednesday 905P Eastern Time (605P Pacific Time):  ​Fraser Howie, CSLA Singapore, author of, Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China's Extraordinary Rise, in re: the Chinese economy

Wednesday 920P Eastern Time (620P Pacific Time): Richard Fisher, Senior Fellow, Asian Military Affairs, International Assessment and Strategy Center, in r: front-line report on Chinese aggression against Manila.  Spent a day in Palowan, only 70 mi from where a Chinese frigate ran aground on 11 July.  Philippines see China as being on a path of placing graduated levels of pressure on them for the foreseeable future.  After 40 years, Philippines now on a program or rearmament – frigates from South Korea, arms for multiple sources, to defend themselves. Upgrade of Chinese warships; missiles: from where the ship ran aground, its missiles could reach cities and villages in the Philippines. Chinese warships are harassing Philippine drilling ships and oilers.  Report that China put 9,000 (!) fishing vessels into the sea near Hainan Island. Confirmed that China assembled 30 ships, mobilized them a few miles from Philippines in what was clearly an intimidation exercise.  Palowan Trench is in a vital sea lane.  Very real fear that this is an effort to dominate the entire region, functionally to create a toll booth for all of Asia.  Coming: Chinese Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones. It’s not about where the oil is; it’s where you can command the sea lanes.

Wednesday 935P Eastern Time (635P Pacific Time):  David Livingston, Dr Space, and Duane Hyland of the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), largest professional aerospace organization, in re: California Space Day, where the lead organization was the AIAA, in Sacramento speaking with legislators on California's aerospace industry: Sierra Nevada, SpaceX, others.

Wednesday 950P Eastern Time (650P Pacific Time): Michael Auslin, AEI, in re: By unilaterally creating a prefectural-level city government and installing a military garrison on a disputed island in the South China Sea, Beijing has further inflamed tensions and made a negotiated settlement to the region's territorial disputes less likely. In particular, the decision to emphasize military measures in this ongoing diplomatic quarrel should worry those who argued that the growth of China's military power in recent decades was non-threatening and the natural action of a rising power. Not only  provocative but it reveals their thinking n the best way to secure control in the region. Not smart strategy by standard measures – taking its friends and converting them to enemies. Perhaps the Party's political organization is incoherent, so the military can have its way. With this garrison, Beijing did decide to create a governance structure for the entire South China Sea – making a huge, invented-from –air, political claim, Must think they can push till they hit a hard wall.  Correct: no effective response to Chinese aggression. Vietnam has more territorial disputes with its neighbors than even the Chinese have. Is this all about natural resources, or just pain Realpolitik – as in, seize control? Probably a bit more toward the rising-power thesis.  Authoritarianism: the Senkakus are seven barren islands; same activity in regard to India. ("It's in the nature of authoritarian regimes to be belligerent."---R Reagan.) Of course, in the Senkakus, there's a huge oil field.   Strategic and economic imperatives push China to take a really hard line, no compromise. 

Wednesday 1005P Eastern  (705P Pacific Time): Perry Link, Emeritus Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton & now professor at the University of California at Riverside, in re:  Bo Xilai & Gu Kailai trials, and the condition of  the Chinese Communist Party.

Wednesday 1020P Eastern (720P Pacific Time): Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, in re: The state-run sports system is too fixated on winning, observers say in the wake of a match-throwing scandal. ""Athletes have been separated from their families and the real world. They are kept in the dark even if their family members are in critical condition or have died," Liu said. Liu was apparently referring to diver Wu Minxia, who came first in synchronised diving at the London Games. Her family decided to wait until after the competition to inform her that her mother had contracted breast cancer and two of her grandparents had died a year ago, according to a report in the Shanghai Daily."

Wednesday 1035P Eastern  (735P Pacific Time):  Gardiner Harris, NYT, in re: New Delhi - where streets are thronged with strays baring fangs. Eighty thousand stray dog bites reported in Mumbai. Something like 40% of the world's rabies toll is in India. Not euthanize the dogs because Hinduism and Jainism see all life as sacred.  It’s very difficult to take a walk here with one's own dog because one has to walk through other dogs's territories; surrounded by packs. Have to wield a  large stick to protect oneself and one's dog. In Asia, dogs are kind of like pilot fish: they surround humans and feel off the refuse. We have a stray who lives right outside our house, named Betsy, utterly sweet.  A Pariah dog breed: short hair, wedge-shaped head, spotted white and brown; these are dominant in numbers. Nobody really knows the dog population – anything from 10 million to 100 milli0n. If the number of dog bites continues to grow, one would suppose aggressive measures will have to be taken. Not vigilantism against dogs, or unreasonable deeds, but my wife and children are afraid to take a walk in New Delhi, and my neighbor was mauled by dogs three months ago, spent a long time in hospital and is still recovering.  JB: "Some say that if we reduce the dog population, they'll be replaced by - rats."

Wednesday 1050P Eastern (750P Pacific Time): Abheek Bhattacharya, WSJ, in re: An Indian demagogue gets democratic: Anna Hazare and his radical ideas lose public support. He led a fiery anticorruption movement that disbanded this month, a sort of Indian Occupy movement.  Has spectacularly fizzled on the last eight or nine months, vindicating India's standard mechanism of checks and balances.  However, corruption continues and the problem will come back; but the extrapolitical tactics, anarchist moves, are not suitable to a democracy. Needs to be taken up in the cauldron of Parliament.

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 11:06PM. At that time, Kenshi Hirata (a double survivor) was gathering up the bones of his wife, which he escavated from their home in Hiroshima, and had carried them back to her parents in Nagasaki, in a bowl that had been a recent wedding gift. Though he was shadow-shielded and shock cocooned (a second time), the bones were thrown from his arms. He gathered them and buried them in a shrine, and still visits the shrine regularly. (Kenshi Hirata is the last known still-living double hibakusha.)

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Wednesday 1105P  Eastern (805PPacific Time): Charles Pellegrino, author, in re: Nagasaki Day, 9 August. Nagasaki bomb was 2x as powerful as Hiroshima bomb (12.5 kilotons) – plutonium implosion device.  During years after bombing, many suicides among survivors; of those remaining, many have lived to very old ages. Took casing of the third bomb, filled it with Torpex so it sent out a ring-type explosion over the Toyota plant.  In Hiroshima today, a flame of hope burns till the day nuclear weapons are eliminated from Earth – either because we eliminate them, or because they eliminate us.  Both cities have ceremonies. Hiroshima has orchestras, sounds like the approach of Godzilla. Nagasaki: a chorus made up of the survivors: "Hear the voice of the hibakusha, let this story never be told again."

Wednesday 1120P Eastern (820P Pacific Time): Matt Wald, NYT, in re: extreme weather

Wednesday 1135P Eastern  (835P Pacific Time): Eric Lipton, NYT, in re:  Vernal Utah oil and gas development on Federal lands

Wednesday 1150P Eastern  (850P Pacific Time): Michael Ledeen, FDD, in re: What about the Green Revolution in Tehran?


Wednesday/Thurs 1205A  Eastern (905 Pacific Time): Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War by Tony Horwitz; 1 of 2

Wednesday/Thurs  1220A Eastern (920 Pacific Time): Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War by Tony Horwitz, 2 of 2

Wednesday/Thurs  1235A  Eastern (935P Pacific Time): David Livingston, Dr Space, and Duane Hyland of the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), largest professional aerospace organization, in re: California Space Day, where the lead organization was the AIAA, in Sacramento speaking with legislators on California's aerospace industry: Sierra Nevada, SpaceX, others.

Wednesday/Thurs  1250A  Eastern (950P Pacific Time): Exeunt. Jim McTague, Barron’s, in re: Knight and the algo robots.

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Sunrise Mars from Curiosity. 

Music (using East Coast broadcast times)

9-hour:  Season of the Witch, Starship Troopers.

10-hour:  Season of the Witch, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.   

11-hour:  Shaolin, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Immortals.

midnight hour:   Starship Troopers, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  

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