The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Air Date: 
January 09, 2013

Photo, above: Artist's imagination of Apophis, an asteroid that'll come back close to Earth in 2029.  The B612 Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that aims to build, launch, and operate the first privately funded deep space mission – a space telescope to be placed in orbit around the Sun. The telescope will create a comprehensive and dynamic map of the inner solar system, providing us with vital new information about Near-Earth Objects.  See:, video on homepage.
Co-hosts: Gordon Chang,, and David Livingston, The Space Show.
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block A:   Stephen Yates,  in re:  Chinese planes and ships are illegally violating Japanese space, taunting them.  The Japanese are having to speak about firing shots because the US is doing nothing.  If the US stopped showing it was afraid, Chinese would move more carefully.   The notion of Shinzo Abe's being rightist are in accurate: Japanese people are reacting to extremely aggressive, militarizing behavior by China.  Is this part of Xi Jinping's planning, or just the PLA Navy?  Couldn’t be PLAN alone without authorization. This began years ago vs ASEAN. Chinese warships are not up to highest (US ) standards – their digital and communications capacities are inferior. However, China sees warfare as not just technology, but as will and resolve. Took over Scarborough Shoal last year because the US did naught. If we don't reverse course fast, we'll find ourselves in a shooting war with China. This is a tripwire waiting to be engaged.  When is this out of control? Probably when some kind of Chinese ordnance lands on Japanese territory, or when a plane is downed or a person injured, only then is Washington – this administration – likely to honor its treaty obligations with Japan.
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block B:   Gordon Chang, in re: India.  Line of Control (LOC): beheading of two Indians by Pakistanis.  Everyone hopes this will blow over; countries have fought two wars over Kashmir; two nuclear powers.  John Kerry speaks in favor of Obama's embrace of India as a member of the UN Security Council. China will block it, of course. Same for Japan.  Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin decided who'd be permanent members
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: David Livingston, the Space Show, and Ed Lu, physicist, veteran astronaut, and B612 Foundation, in re: Apophis, near-miss of Earth in 2029. GA14 asteroid. B612 Foundation was formed to save humanity on Earth: after Tunguska (on June 30, 1908, took out an area roughly the size of all New York City), for every one asteroid we notice there are about 100 more we aren’t aware of. However, we do know how to deflect asteroids, as long as we know where they are: give 'em a small nudge. European space telescope says Apophus is 20% larger diameter than we thought; but same trajectory, which is important for when it returns. Planetary defense. Apophis hasn’t enough pull to move our geostationary satellites. Combination of gravity tractor, kinetic__.  We will be hit in the future if we do nothing.    We're bldg our own space telescope to give ourselves a chance, see asteroids down to 30 meters. See:, video on home page: locations and trajectories of every known asteroid in our solar system, taken from NASA data.  Asteroids whiz past the Earth all the time, an we have no idea; we're assembling a 3D map. We have no govt sponsorship, are doing this all privately
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 1, Block D:   Michael Auslin, AEI, in re:  Coming threats in Asia in 2013.  Not your grandfather's Japanese govt: talking abt shootdown orders and bldg a special naval force. Shinzo Abe wanted to be the first foreign leader to visit Washington; Obama declined. Beijing on Japan's sending warning shots: they always push as hard as they can, then back down slightly; After it's official Japanese doctrine, they'll probe and test, probably with  some civilian vessel. China has been going in and out of Senkaku waters whenever Japan send sin a big fleets, China slows down for a few days. Will Asian neighbors do the same thing, copy "warning shots"?  Too small so they can't, but will be looking for a real change in Japan's attitude, a balancing of power in East Asian waters. Abe needs to follow up now: if he sticks his chin out and it's a glass jaw, [it'll be disgraceful.]
Hour Two
Wednesday 9 Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  Charles Ortel, Newport Value Partners, in re:  .Europe is in economic trouble; China and Asia are acting disappointed because we’re not buying their goods.  Before 1492, even the Amazonian Indians understood that the best way to get a forest restarted is to burn out the underbrush, The first major nation that understands that the problem is too much debt and stifling bureaucracy, and is welcoming to investment, will see a flood of capital.  Currently, our value-destroying efforts  . . .   It probably won't be the US. Where? Not China or India; the US is "the last man gasping."  What if one of our adversaries looks at our State and Defense policies and decided s to push – over one of the hard cliffs, in Saudi or Iran or another theater?  Billionaires increased their wealth by $214bil last y ear. They’re doing well.   After 1989, when it was possible to bld up a startup to be a global juggernaut – like Facebook – that central bankers conspired to keep valuations down. Note Russian income tax policy: flat tax of 13%. We need to get a grip, see how thinly capitalized the banks are  and reverse course to a rocket-ship ride forward.   Twitter: @charlesOrtel
Global economy: U.S. and China leave feeble Europe in their wake
Japan's New Stimulus: The Race With China To The Bottom
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Nitin Gokhale, security and strategic affairs editor at New Delhi Television, in re: Pakistani soldier dies a week ago, committed revenge killing of Indians: beheaded on or more. New Delhi-Islamabad retains are difficult, but a beheading? Yes, highly provocative, India assets it's unacceptable.  A dozen years ago, in Feb 2000 almost he same thing occurred.  Pakistan and India have fought three wars; both are nuclear. Do these weapons stabilize or destabilize?  Everyone knows that nuclear weapons will not come into calculations quickly – there are levels below. On the larger scale, they’re destabilizing.  The SSG – Special Svcs Group of the Pakistani army – are likely to have been dispatched and to done this beheading.   Heavy Pakistani shelling on the weekend, India retaliated and in the course killed a Pakistani soldier; prost then on Tuesday 600 km away, the Pakistanis were lying in wait, dispatched a special team to commit this revenge killing.   Although there are improving relations at top levels, the Pakistani army is not on board with that. Hardliners oppose peace with India.
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Neha Thirani, NYT Mumbai bureau, in re: India’s Rape and Sexual Assault Laws Under Scrutiny.  Laws protecting female citizens from rape and sexual assault.  India's current rape law dates from 1860. Is inadequate, not surprisingly.  Section C75 of the Indian Penal Law defines rape as against the woman's consent, except in marriage not if the woman is over the age of fifteen. Discussions of indirect consent. "Modesty of a woman" – quite subjective.    Need now to include harassment, groping, cybercrime, and the like. Prevailing attitude among men, and even women: it’s the rape victim's fault. Police ask abt a woman's virginity, purity, appearance of clothing.  Currently a sexual assault bill in parliament, and a govtl committee formed to review amendments to the natl law, will submit at end of Jan.  Justice for these particular victims cannot be the end of this story.  Lots of debate and discussion for the last month – but not nuanced: calls for chemical castration or hanging.  need to think ore deeply about this issue for the long term. Need to examine the society that allowed the rape laws to become so outdates.  In Mumbai, huge move of women to join self-defense clubs.
Wednesday 9 Jan 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Bruce Bechtol, Angelo State, in re: DPRK: Bill Richardson, former New Mexico governor, and Eric Schmidt, Google top honcho, go to North Korea. Richardson may have talked Schmidt into thinking he cd accomplish some diplomatic deed and rescue and America. Instead, Kim Jong-eun got a massive, mega-enormous global propaganda boost. The Logan Act forbids this freelancing; shd be prosecuted – but won't. North Korea missiles: if it's displayed, esp in a parade, it's either actively being dvpd or is abt to be deployed.  In 2004 when Libya turned over nuclear everything, had plans for a 500kg warhead of HEU for a Nodong. South Koreans ran simulations, fond a 10,000 km range, and cd carry a 500kg warhead.
Hour Three
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  LouAnn Hammond,, at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, in re: Audi's piloted driving; a self parking car
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  . Thomas Black, Bloomberg News, in : Tank car boom for energy boom, but not enough tanks cars.  Buffett, like Icahn, reaping a tank car boom from shale oil.
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  . Ancient Chinese Warfare by Ralph D. Sawyer (Mar 1, 2011) ; 1 of 2
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:  Ancient Chinese Warfare by Ralph D. Sawyer (Mar 1, 2011) ; 2 of 2     Edward N. Luttwak, author of The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire“Not unexpectedly, this book enhances Ralph D. Sawyer’s reputation as the premier interpreter of Chinese strategy and warfare. The surprise is that with the aid of a flowing style he has written a highly readable, indeed very enjoyable book on a seemingly abstruse subject. In a manner fascinating in itself, Sawyer brilliantly reconstructs the fragmentary archaeological evidence.”
Hour Four
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block A:  Thomas Kaplan NYT , in re:  Cuomo to Push for Broader Ban on Assault Weapons In the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Conn., Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York plans on Wednesday to propose one of the country’s most restrictive bans on assault weapons.
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:   Steven Dennis, Roll Call, in re:
Biden, NRA Set to Meet ( Steven Dennis has a piece on Biden's plans to meet with NRA and other gun-rights/gun-owner groups.  He writes:  Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will meet with representatives from the National Rifle Association and other groups this week at the White House as he pushes forward with a charge to come up with a gun safety package by the end of the month, according to the White House.  
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:  Brian Chen NYT HDTV ULTRA $25K at CES
As Sales Slip, TV Makers Strain for the Next Sensation.  Television makers are trying to attract attention by supersizing screens and quadrupling the level of detail in images, and they are adding apps and other interactive elements.
Wednesday  9 Jan 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:   Jon Erlichman Bloomberg TV, in re: CES, Microsoft is missing, why?
Are Consumer Electronics Killing the Consumer Electronics Show?
..  ..  ..
Hour 1:  Shaolin, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Babylon AD.
Hour 2:  Painted Veil, Tomorrow Never Dies, Babylon AD.
Hour 3:  Babylon AD, True Grit, Shaolin.
Hour 4:  The Raid