WW III: Persians Vs. Arabs?

One of our roles around here is to look at history from the long wave economic perspective and try to figure out just what the heck is going on.

This morning, we might be asking ourselves, is there a basis to worry about a coming Persian versus Arab war?

Let’s start with the basics:  What binds people is language for one.  And, says Wikipedia:

Persian is the predominant modern descendant of Old Persian, a southwestern Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan (officially known as Dari Persian since 1958 for political reasons),[7] and Tajikistan (officially known as Tajiki Persian since the Soviet era for political reasons),[8] and some other regions which historically came under Persian influence.

This area might also be considered largely Shi’ite Muslim.

Now, head on down south a ways and you have the Arab languages.

Arabic is the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century and its modern descendants excluding Maltese. Arabic is spoken in a wide arc stretching across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. Arabic belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family.

The literary language, called Modern Standard Arabic or Literary Arabic, is the only official form of Arabic. It is used in most written documents as well as in formal spoken occasions, such as lectures and news broadcasts.

It seems to me worth noting that the Sunni Muslims are largely Arabic speakers.  Shi’ites would lean Persian.

And it’s this language distinction that goes much deeper than just being a novel thought of the linguistic stripe.  It also provides a framework for viewing (and maybe understanding?) the tensions which are brewing on both sides of the language divide.

This matters greatly because it has everything to do with markets.

Let’s work our way north to south.  First up is the report that the West has more or less capitulated on the negotiations with Iran to keep them from building a bomb.

Worse, still, is the damning AP report that claims the West allowed Iran to keep running centrifuges – the very tools that provide for enrichment of uranium.

Also on that side of the fence, we have Syrian president Assad who is declaring that all the bad things said about him were propaganda.  I presume you know that Syria and Iran are both credibly backed by the Russians.  It is Moscow which provides the reactors to Iran (with help from Germans and others, all in it for a buck) and support for Assad in return for access to the Med where Russian warships like to appear now and then to raise the flag.

Russia is, in some sense, being blackmailed along its southern tier, let’s not forget.

Now let’s consider the other side:  Sunni is what binds the Global Caliphate, and we are already seeing first moves toward military alliances as Egypt and the Saudis are warming up relations (helped by billions from the Saudis to the Egyptians during the troubles in Egypt a while back) and now there’s talk about how there may be an emergent joint Arab military Force.

We can also see the military  lines clarifying:  The Saudis have moved into Yemen in order to hold back what might be seen as Iranian Quds fighters advancing to the south.  Yemeni radar and military units are under attack right now.

The Gulf Today reports on the joint Arab Force as though it’s an accomplished fact, which means we will likely see a battle line between what we have called the Global Caliphate in the south (backed by Israel and the US) facing off against the Persian Empire.

To be sure, a lot of people seem to be stumped at what’s going on. 

For example, the NY Times lays out the idea that it’s just “A policy puzzle of US goals and alliances in the Middle East.”

I beg to differ.  It’s not a difficult puzzle if you have the Big Win at Any Cost mentality.

As I read it, the evidence rather strongly suggests that the US/West are in the process of feeding arms to both sides (Arabs vs. Persians) so that the coming World War – a necessity in long wave economic doctrine as the mechanism to “kill people and break things” – in order to create huge global economic demands for another 50-years or longer – must be played.

Since the weapons of war are pretty ugly, if the US and Russia (and sure, let’s toss in the Chinese) can “play via proxies” then we could see a relatively “sanitary war” option.

More directly:  The US could simply be arming both sides to the hilt in order to let the conflict blow up much of the Middle East, which would blow back on Muslims of both stripes (Sunni and Shi’ite) for multiple generations into the future.

It would also leaves the fascinating question lingering:  Is anyone besides Ures truly Machiavellian enough to think this way?

My suspicion is yes.  It ain’t that complicated and may, indeed, be that simple.

There’s an old saying in the military:  “Kill ‘em all and let God sort it out.”  The real trick will be in not getting sucked into a head-to-head with Russia…which is why the arms length is actually a graceful option for play.  If you don’t mind a billion dead, but then again….

I don’t like to “think the unthinkable” but we do it very well.  And, as long as that’s where US foreign policy seems to be pointing, why not make a few fortunes on military sales along the way? 

Problem solved:  World blows up – main impacts aren’t at home in the US or Russia, and everyone gets to make money.

What could be simpler?   You see?  It’s all in how you want to read the news and whether you’ve been sucked into being a partisan.

Think any of the presidential wannabes will out this?  Not on your life.  While all the pieces fit, there’s the billion dead (disposable humans) from all this.

No one wants to own that…especially in 2016.  So look for lots of footwork and talk about “new policy” in the Middle East with very little substance and whoever wins will run the computer models that make Obama now look like Bush IV in many of his policy moves.

We’re just not supposed to notice.

Equally Incomprehensible?

The US GDP press release is out this morning:

Real gross domestic product — the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 5.0 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 2.2 percent. While increases in exports and in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) were larger than previously estimated and the change in private inventories was smaller, GDP growth is unrevised, and the general picture of the economy for the fourth quarter remains the same (see “Revisions” on page 3).

The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending and private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the fourth quarter primarily reflected an upturn in imports, a downturn in federal government spending, a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment, and a larger decrease in private inventory investment that were partly offset by accelerations in PCE and in state and local government spending.

Say, there’s a fine phrase we have been seeing a lot of, lately: Deceleration of growth.

Beat the hell out of saying deflation.

And the way policymakers can say it with a straight face is simple:  Simply print up money (M1/M2 is up 15.8/8.9% annualized in the latest quarter).

Sure, there is somewhere around 6% more money sloshing about, although St. Greenspan hid M3 (my, what a coincidence, huh?) but using the reconstructed basis we can see how 2.2 economic growth less then 6% (call it) money growth really means 3-4% deflation and no one’s the wiser.

Can’t have too many smart people around, can we?

With West Coast Ports traffic down 22% compared with a year ago, the condition of the market argues that “some of the people, some of the time” is still as true as it was in P.T. Barnum’s day.

Which accounts for the stock futures pointing to a loss of only 35 points at the open.

More after this:

Coping: With Browsing Resets, Foiling Computer Thieves

Enough people have written in that it’s time to suspect more than one thing is going on with reports of people not being able to get today’s version of UrbanSurvival on time. 

At the same time, since we spend so much time on the net, a good chunk of UrbanSurvival is knowing what the hell you’re doing with a computer is high on our priority list.

So we’re going to have us a short class here where I’m sure, even if you THINK you know all there is to know, you just might learn a thing or three.

It’s appropriate we talk about safety of home computers because home (or office) your computer is either your best bud or it’s the biggest most gaping personal security exposure you have.

The starting point is simple:  Open your browsing history any time you want by pressing CONTROL+SHIFT+DELETE at the same time.  Go ahead…try it.  Look for the part where it refers to passwords.

Given the number of meth-heads out there, is it worth using your BRAIN to store a few critical passwords, in order to keep your computer safe?

You know, if someone steals your computer – and you use all those features like stored passwords – you could lose your life savings.  And you do go to the store, right?

I got started on this morning’s rant because so many people have been getting old UrbanSurvival content.  That seems to be happening FAR too often, so it’s likely a software update.  So let’s get this fixed, once and for all, shall we?  This is going to apply to ALL websites, but it’s pretty clear that if you’re a big corporation and you want to lessen traffic on the net, just feed people old content.

Well, we’re not going to play…

Yes, we are still on exactly the same Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday schedule as always with links to Peoplenomics (and summaries) on Wednesday and Saturday.  So what gives?

imageHard telling – although we know that there are groups that really like to suppress our views…but aside from this, there are a couple of things you can do.  And what I’m going to show you here will help on ALL sites that have updated content.

We’ll start with Internet Exploder, as I call it.  When you get there, look for the area under browsing history. 

To get here, find the menu, look for “Tools” and click on the settings for how pages are handled.

I make it a practice to ALWAYS set the “Delete browser history on exit is checked.  I don’t want anyone to EVER see where I have been.  No, not that I visit porn sites, or anything like that…it’s that I don’t care to leave any personal information on any computer.  (I don’t do things like store passwords either.)

imageNext, you click on the area called “Settings” which I have poured yellow over so you can find it.

Now, you want the browser to be set so that you get a fresh copy of everything “Every time I visit a web page.”

If you don’t have these things checked, you will be seeing ever so slightly faster – but oftentimes DATED material.

If all you do is look at your bank statements and such, then fine. But just remember, burglars are not dumb.

If they can get into your how and steal your computer and if you don’t have a STRONG logon to your computer,   They can email a password change to your old email address, put in a new email account, logging in from a hotel somewhere (and using a fake ID for that) and have a field day.

More on this in a second.

imageSame thing when you are using Firefox, if that’s your poison of choice.

Simply open up your Tools (right click and check the Menu on if it’s not already on your screen).

Then from the pull-down that gives you a number of ways to handle history, select the one that says Firefox will never remember history.

Set Up a Computer Sign-In

Now, a word, or three about User Account access.

A lot of home computer users are too damn lazy to set windows up to that it takes a serious password to log into it.

Let’s see how good you really are at computers, OK?

Go over to the Gibson Research (remember, Steve Gibson is a nice computer genius) and check out his Password Haystack over here.

Put in something LIKE your banking password and let me know how you do.  But, don’t put in the real thing, just something that has the same number of characters and is upper/lower case, has special punctuation and some numbers in it.

You know why the odds of me losing my  bank account and other personal information is low?

Look at the password needed to log onto any of George’s computers:

image

And THIS is just to log into one of my computers.  I won’t bore you with the even more hardened passwords for banking and trading, but you get the idea.

imageThere are some computers around here which are never used  for banking, website work, or any of that…Take Elaine’s computer.

But that computer (seven letters, 2 numbers) is incredibly insecure by comparison.

imageEven our media computer – which doesn’t have a single commercial application on it – still requires a password to log in.

As you can see, it’s dirt simple and it’s really a joke.

Why Passwording Your Computer is Important

I am NOT the character who James Spader plays in Blacklist, BUT if I were, just stealing a computer could be turned into something.

imageFor example, there’s a marvelous piece of software (if you ever misplace your product CD for some computer application, or other, called “Magic Jellybean Key Finder.”

I’ve run it on my most “stripped down” machine, and sure enough it tells you a fair bit about what apps are on here  Obviously I’m not showing product keys, but there they are…

What it doesn’t show is custom code (Nostracodeus uses a different approach, for example) but these tools are out there.  If you haven’t seen it, the LifeHacker report over here could bed used by a smart criminal (who has stolen your computer) to get into all kinds of mischief.  You don’t really want to make things easy for them, do you?

All of which gets down to the point of this morning’s major rant bottom line:  A lot of people think they are smart when comes to computers.  But having a computer that doesn’t have strong passwording from logon forward is taking an unnecessary risk and one that is easily fixed.

People tend to put off boring stuff with computers.  Running Defragler or CCleaner to wipe out temp files and speed up things is ever so boring, too. 

But in a sense, it’s not unlike sharpening a pencil.  When I was a kid, I used to run up and sharpen my pencil almost compulsively.

Think of computer performance and security as the same thing:  Pencil-Sharping 3.0.

Around the Ranch:  Numerous Small Victories

Nothing has gone as intended this week, but what’s old saying about what the “road to hell is paved with…”?

The good news is that the passing crap is all dealt with – almost like an asteroid went by with Kryptonite or something.

Not like I’m the only one, though.  Reader Dan has had the same thing going:

I thought it was just me. Yesterday I was speaking to my wife about a series of peculiar outages at work, miscommunications, and other stuff that was going on.  She asked if it was already retrograde again and I confirmed it was not yet and that she should check with her astrologer for anything strange. So far nothing but I’m glad it’s not just us.

Here’s the interesting part:  Reader RF says it’s not retrograde that’s working overtime:

It isn’t Merc Rx, George, it is Uranus/Pluto square and Solar eclipse, and whatever is being jiggled in our personal astrology charts by these energies.

I had ‘one of those days’ yesterday, too. Also three instances of ‘crap’ that rarely dogs me anymore.

My favorite go-to online astrologer has become Ralfee Finn of “The Aquarium Age — Transformational Astrology” at AquariumAge.com (yes — a q u a r i u m — she has a sense of humor). Her “Weekly Frequency” report gives an excellent overview of the astrological weather. She gives historical perspective, and does her best to find the silver lining in the storm clouds, or how to make the best of what is happening. We have been in ‘heavy weather’ without much break for awhile now. Go back in the archives to get a sense of how the aspects are playing out in your own life, and the world stage.

The water heater fault turned out to be a wire that had come loose in a junction box installed long, long ago.  But that required checking everything from the breaker panel on and we tossed in a new GFI while we were at it.

Panama has phones working again in t’other building, which means we are back up to the full complement of three wireless networks around here.

This leaves only another article for my buddy Gaye over at backdoorsurvival.com on ham radio.  The first part is over here, if you missed it.  Gaye and Survival Hubby (Sheldon) will be taking the test to get their ham radio licenses on April 18th.  Mighty proud of them.

Tomorrow morning, Elaine and I will be running up to Oklahoma to chat with Robin Landry (robin.landry@raymondjames.com) about his latest outlook for the market.  He’s been working on charts overtime and the latest work – which we’ll go over in tomorrow’s Peoplenomics report – is just doggone interesting and I want to sit down some of the future scenarios that are coming into focus.

So, off and running…here it is Friday already.  Remember:  Only two more working days until Monday after today!

Write when you break-even….or break down, lol…

George    george@ure.net