Light Reading …

US Debt Visualized…. http://usdebt.kleptocracy.us/

West plans to tap oil reserves if Iran blocks the Straight…. http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/west-plans-to-tap-oil-reserves-if-iran-blocks-strait-of-hormuz-1.405955

Britain dispatches advanced warship to Persian Gulf…. http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/report-britain-dispatches-advanced-warship-to-persian-gulf-1.405969

The US-Iran economic war….  One viewpoint on how things might be going – http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA07Ak01.html

Iran holds exercises near Afghan border…. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/07/us-iran-idUSTRE8041RA20120107

Everyone getting in on the war games over there…. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ffcf3450-3890-11e1-9ae1-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1iq9uz7I1

Iran offers to share nuke tech with African nations…. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/01/07/iran-offers-to-share-nuke-technology-with-africa/?test=latestnews

Posturing is a political and military past time. I don’t think the current state of affairs is an effort to avoid boredom, though. Guessing what might happen, and all the attendant whys and hows, is only marginally useful in your planning. Let’s look at some things that could be useful, but first, let’s remind ourselves what a survival plan is.

“A Survival Plan is the orderly and purposeful compilation of knowledge, skills and materials that enables someone to avoid or overcome adverse conditions, and continue living as best as he can expect afterward.”

“Avoid or overcome adverse conditions” We are looking to harden ourselves against the damage that adverse conditions might cause. What is useful regarding this definition, layered over the Gulf problem?

First, the obvious threat to our pocketbooks via increased fuel costs associated with disrupted oil transit through the Gulf. Oil products serve us with affordable things by aiding in transportation, agriculture (fertilizers, machinery fuels, lubricating oils, plastics and packaging, etc.), manufacturing, medicine and others. Any increase in costs among these facets of our economy hit us directly in our pocket books.

Second, military action will result in some large foreign powers taking a hard look at us, and responding in ways that multiply the effects of the first point above. Russia and China will lose revenue and supply both, if the Gulf transit is disrupted. Both countries have the ability to reconfigure and make adjustments, while forcing higher prices in the markets we will try to leverage to make up for lost imports. The pressures put in play will not be entirely one-sided.

Third, some of our own citizens will cry loudly for no other reason than to take advantage of a crisis to be heard. What they cry about will not be important. The actions taken by Washington, using the cries as excuse and justification, just might be important.

Taken together, the first two are bad enough. The effect is to make us poorer through increase costs of living. Hardening against this isn’t easy. The longer we see increased petroleum costs, the longer we see end-product costs. It east savings and reduces discretionary spending funds. To deal with a bad case scenario we need to:

  • Cut all-around living costs now, to save up a few bucks
  • Find new ways to reduce fuel usage in our automobiles, home heating and recreational vehicles (RVs, boats, ATVs, motorbikes, etc.)
  • Work out ways to farm the same land with fewer mechanized operations
  • Reuse petrol-based products that we normally toss and replace
  • Get more work out of things like trash bags, plastic garden tools, etc.
  • Combine shopping trips with other short jaunts such as visiting with people, heading to meetings, and do more on each trip
  • Watch electrical consumption, since many generator plants are fossil fuel fired and exposed to rate increases as fuel pries rise

(Any reader’s ideas are welcome….)

If this thing gets real ugly, we might be in for lingering problems for a good part of the year. I don’t expect that, but it is a possibility. If anything good comes out of this, it might be that we learn to squeeze a bit more use out of a shrinking dollar. The benefits of that could be substantial, depending on your situation.

Oh yes…. regarding point 3 up there. Devious people think in strange ways. Who’s to say that one result of this mess couldn’t be new regulations and restrictions. Politicians love to take advantage of crisis to further their careers and increase their power bases. Keep this in mind when studying choices for the next election. Always vote for the man or woman that considers freedom ahead of progress. Remember that local elections are important, too. The rabble rousers are powerless without sympathetic ears.

Lastly, remember that you are in charge of your safety.

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