The John Batchelor Show

Monday 20 July 2020

Air Date: 
July 20, 2020

Colleague: Thaddeus McCotter, American Greatness
Hour One
National Security Report, brought to you by Walkbase.
Monday 20 July 2020 / Hour 1, Block A: Tom Joscelyn, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; & Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; @billroggio  @thomasjoscelyn; in re:  The United Nations Security Council added Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan emir Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud (Wali) to its list of terrorist leaders and operatives who associated with Al Qaeda. While Wali’s Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, or TTP) has carried out few major attacks inside Pakistan, it has stepped up small-scale operations against Pakistani security forces in North and South Waziristan over the past several months.
The UNSC added Wali to the Al Qaeda Sanctions List on July 16, 2020, for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of” Al Qaeda.
Drone strikes in three Afgh provinces: Taliban accuses the US of violating the “peace” deal.  In fact, there’s nothing in the withdrawal deal that says either side needs to stop attacking until the deal is fully consummated.
Monday 20 July 2020 / Hour 1, Block B: Tom Joscelyn, Long War Journal and FDD; and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; @billroggio  @thomasjoscelyn; in re: Why would bounties need to be offered? WH needs an incentive?  CENTCOM commander: No causal link has been proffered.  There’s already an incredible scale of violence; hard to believe that the Kremlin had much effect in the grand scheme of things as practiced by al Qaeda, the Pakistanis, and a wealth of other groups. Imam al-Bukhari (KIB), an Uzbek jihadist group loyal to the Taliban that fights under its banner.
Taliban asserts that there’s no foreign fighter in Afghanistan.  Absurd. “In a tweet released earlier today by its spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban claimed that ‘these images have been stolen from our archive’ [by LongWarJournal].”   “Disappointment in American leadership”: few pols or others can articulate whom we’re fighting or why.
Monday 20 July 2020 / Hour 1, Block C: Michael Yon, East Asia reporter, and Gordon Chang, Daily Beast, in re:  UK has suspended extradition agreements with Hong Kong on two grounds: the new law of Hong Kong, and accused China of forced sterilization of ethnic minorities, esp Uyghurs.  Beijing is far from being indifferent; what’s important is that last Tuesday the UK followed the US—which had followed Australia, which had followed Canada.  A period of much de-linking from China. 
Large banks are now checking their large clients to see that none is entangled in the HK protests [in their kowtowing to Beijing].  Virus seems to have taken hold in HK again. Citizens have carefully slowed down their street activities; they respect the virus after SARS. 
If HK people stay, no protection. Beijing considers the UK to be weak; it also disrespects Denmark, or probably any other country but perhaps the US. Chin plays by jungle rules: big dog makes the rules. No respect for law.  Might acknowledge US-born ABCs, but certainly not Hong Kongers with a British passport.  Beijing is still installing Huawei towers around HK.
Monday 20 July 2020 / Hour 1, Block D:  Charles Burton, Brock University and Macdonald-Laurier Institute; and @GordonGChang, in re:  Canada reviewing purchasing security esp in regard to Nutech scanners*  for 170 Canadian missions abroad, which would give China an intell bonanza; Chinese govt offered them at a ridiculously low price  (recall Zambian flap some years ago anent cash payments). You'd think the Canadians might  have googled Nutech before promising the check.  If there’s enough outrage, Ottawa might reverse the commitment. The real question is, where is the Canadian govt getting its info about China? Consider Xinjiang, HK, products of forced labor, hair shorn from Uyghur women prisoners in concentration camps.  . . .   Possible co-optation of Canadian elites in relation to Huawei
* The contract for conveyor-style X-ray machines was awarded to Beijing-based Nuctech Company, a company owned by the Chinese government and founded by the son of a former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Hu Jintao
Hour Two
Monday 20 July 2020 / Hour 2, Block A:  Dr Henry Miller, Pacific Research Institute; in re: Virus.  Multiple levels of testing of vaccines; not good to have uncertainty or side effects when a vaccine is offered to millions of people.  We still have a long way to go with efficacy or safety.
Epidemiology: Covert infections may have contributed to the rapid spread of COVID-19Up to 87% of COVID-19 cases in Wuhan, China, between January and March 2020 may have gone undetected, according to a modelling study published in Nature. These findings are consistent with recent serological studies in the United States and Europe. Undetected, or unascertained, infections — which may have included asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals, or those with mild symptoms — probably had a major role in the rapid spread of the disease, and could lead to a resurgence of infections upon lifting of restrictions too early.
Monday 20 July 2020 / Hour 2, Block B:  Dr Henry Miller, Pacific Research Institute; in re: Virus and masks.   Universal Masking to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Transmission—The Time Is Now

Monday 20 July 2020 / Hour 2, Block C:  Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re:  Virus.  Anecdotes that the virus has ripped thorough Iran; now Rouhani announces that legislators have been infected, along with 25 million Iranians; may go to 35 million.  Regime arrests doctors who gave interviews.   Originally, had hundreds of thousands of Chinese studying in Iran.  . . .  Iranian cyberspies made a selfie video.  . . . Zarif in Baghdad; wanted to go to Saudi, but the king is hospitalized. In Baghdad, still upset about death of Soleimani.  The largest freshwater lake in Iran—in all of Central Asia—is drying up. Regime acknowledges that it’s lost control, but still funds “adventurism” – proxy wars, et al.   
Monday 20 July 2020  / Hour 2, Block D: Indiana Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re:  Tel al Shariah (Tel al Sharah)—verifies David of yore. Hyksos and Egypt: dental remains of 75 people: can differentiate those who spent their whole life in the northern delta, and those who also lived elsewhere, Hyksos now are seen as infiltrators. Eleventh C BC Egyptian king was a monotheist. 
Hour Three
Monday 20 July 2020  / Hour 3, Block A:  Andrew C McCarthy, Ball of Collusion, in re:  “Primary subsource of Christopher Steele’s dossier.”  FBI process. This cancels all we’ve been told for years.  They were chasing what didn't exist.  When the top leadership of the FBI pursues a case, there’s no one left to perform the essential functions of the leadership concerning a case: to say yes or no to continuing based on accuracy of the bases of the case.  Here, what passed for intell info seems to be nonsense, innuendo. 
Monday 20 July 2020  / Hour 3, Block B: 
Monday 20 July 2020  / Hour 3, Block C:  Dr Brenda Shaffer, Georgetown, and Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of the republic of Azerbaijan to Washington; in re:  More fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. Fighting for two days, then the shelling resumed.  Began 300 km north of Nagorno-Karabakh.  The Financial Times [has the story quite wrong]: “Muslim Azerbaijan,” it writes, vs Christian Armenia. Completely misses the geopolitics.
Moscow called on both sides to exercise restraint . . . Russia and Turkey both involved.  Armenia’s main purpose seems to be to enlarge the conflict.  Border between two internationally-recognized states; which, by itself, brings in railroads, pipelines.  Danger of a much greater flare-up—which seems to be exactly what Armenia intended.  To distract from domestic problems? To elevate Armenian officials? This is exactly why we have a UN Security Council.  Change at Azerbaijani foreign ministry, new FM. Hikmet Hajiyev.  Is there an arbiter? 
Brenda Shaffer: @ProfBShaffer  @FDD; @ElinSuleymanov, @azembassyus
Monday 20 July 2020  / Hour 3, Block D:   Lorenzo Fiori: Direttore Generale Ansaldo Fondazione, in re: Today, no one in Italy died of the coronavirus   Italy’s foreign minister [?] is  fighting for funding to recover from the massive economic disruption brought on by the the virus; the Frugal Four have so far withstood the largest demand. 
Hour Four
Monday 20 July 2020  / Hour 4, Block A: David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, & John Fund, NRO, in re: President Trump will again participate in the daily virus pressers.  Joe Biden has made a speech on energy, unions, virus.  Congress returns to Washington: an additional stimulus package.  A summer surge in virus cases in the Sunbelt and the West.  Changed Senate Republicans, caused them to consider a fourth tranche.  Americans don't think this thing is under control. The economy is still in terrible shape. Rumor of an underground California economy: resentment of Gov Newsom, or a national movement?  We’re not back to barter, but certainly back to cash, and opening he back door to established customers.  The Swedes said: It’s hard to go into a lockdown; much harder to get out of one.
Republicans on Monday outlined their priorities for the next round of coronavirus aid, calling for legal protections for businesses and money to reopen schools but no new funding for states and cities sought by Democrats, kicking off a sprint to pass legislation by early August.
@DavidMDrucker  @johnfund
Monday 20 July 2020  / Hour 4, Block B:   David M Drucker, Washington Examiner, & John Fund, NRO, in re: Joe Biden’s strategies.  DHS in Seattle, or Chicago: is Joe Biden above the field?  President was perhaps misinformed by his staff (concerning the Wallace interview). 
Monday 20 July 2020  / Hour 4, Block C:  The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet, by Jim Robbins 
David Milarch, shade tree project in northern Michigan.  Archived genetics of largest tree of each species.  We don't know if they're ancient and large because of genetics, or because of a favorable environment.  Trees that have survived for two or four thousand years must have a significant element of genetic strength. Milarch had a near-death experience, met an [angel] who said he had to return and begin this collection.  He’s an unlikely mystic, a tough guy. Propagate with cuttings in a growth medium to clone.  Straightforward.  The redwoods are compelling.  Its forest originally was massacred by the first Euro settlers; 95% is gone.  Bristlecone pine: in the range of 2,000 to 4,700 years old. 
Monday 20 July 2020  / Hour 4, Block D:  The Man Who Planted Trees: A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet, by Jim Robbins   The rhizosphere! [The rhizosphere is the narrow region of soil that is directly influenced by root secretions and associated soil microorganisms known as the root microbiome.]  Japanese forest-bathing: well documented and important health benefits. Breathing in aerosols from trees, plus perhaps other sources of health.
 Most important is that trees are water filters. Long ago, a squirrel could travel from Maine to Mexico without ever touching the ground. 
The Man Who Planted Trees is the inspiring story of David Milarch’s quest to clone the biggest trees on the planet in order to save our forests and ecosystem—as well as a hopeful lesson about how each of us has the ability to make a difference.
“When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today.”—Chinese proverb
Twenty years ago, David Milarch, a northern Michigan nurseryman with a penchant for hard living, had a vision: angels came to tell him that the Earth was in trouble. Its trees were dying, and without them, human life was in jeopardy. The solution, they told him, was to clone the champion trees of the world—the largest, the hardiest, the ones that had survived millennia and were most resilient to climate change—and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics. Without knowing if the message had any basis in science, or why he’d been chosen for this task, Milarch began his mission of cloning the world’s great trees. Many scientists and tree experts told him it couldn’t be done, but, twenty years later, his team has successfully cloned some of the world’s oldest trees—among them giant redwoods and sequoias. They have also grown seedlings from the oldest tree in the world, the bristlecone pine Methuselah.
       When the New York Times journalist Jim Robbins came upon Milarch’s story, he was fascinated but had his doubts. Yet over several years, listening to Milarch and talking to scientists, he came to realize that there is so much we do not yet know about trees: how they die, how they communicate, the myriad crucial ways they filter water and air and otherwise support life on Earth. It became clear that as the planet changes, trees and forest are essential to assuring its survival.

Praise for The Man Who Planted Trees:
“This is a story of miracles and obsession and love and survival. Told with Jim Robbins’s signature clarity and eye for telling detail, The Man Who Planted Trees is also the most hopeful book I’ve read in years. I kept thinking of the end of Saint Francis’s wonderful prayer, ‘And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.’ ”—Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

“Absorbing, eloquent, and loving . . . While Robbins’s tone is urgent, it doesn’t compromise his crystal-clear science. . . . Even the smallest details here are fascinating.”—Dominique Browning, The New York Times Book Review 

“The great poet W. S. Merwin once wrote, ‘On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree.’ It’s good to see, in this lovely volume, that some folks are getting a head start!”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“Inspiring . . . Robbins lucidly summarizes the importance and value of trees to planet Earth and all humanity.”The Ecologist
“ ‘Imagine a world without trees,’ writes journalist Jim Robbins. It’s nearly impossible after reading The Man Who Planted Trees, in which Robbins weaves science and spirituality as he explores the bounty these plants offer the planet.”Audubon