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The Normalcy Bias

The one thing I hate about getting old is that time continues to speed up.  I remember those lazy summer afternoons as a boy, when just a few hours seemed like half-frozen molasses running down a Vermont maple in the dead of winter.  Now, the entire month of January slips by in the same amount of time.  Just a few minutes ago, I was sitting with my wife and step-daughter at the local watering hole celebrating New Year's Eve...

But, that's not what I really wanted to talk about today, although it does fit in a back-door beggar sort of way.

Today is for something called the normalcy bias.  This is the human predilection for assuming that everything is OK if everything within range of our senses is "normal."

The alarm went off at the appointed time.  The cats started their usual song and dance around the food bowl, as usual.  The mosques fired up the amplifiers at the established hour.  The neighborhood exercise group began their morning warm-up more or less on time.  My favorite bird launched into his morning aria without a moment's hesitation.  The bread hawkers started circulating at the normal 6am.

It all just seems so damned normal.  There can't possibly be anything wrong in the world, right?  Everything I perceive with what's left of my senses is doing what it all should be doing.  So what could possibly be wrong?

Just a quick browse through the headlines, though, let's me know that the senses can be fooled.  The US military is positioning all its old stuff around the Red Sea and Straits of Hormuz.  Obviously, they are begging to be attacked, so they've thrown all the toys that are set to be decommissioned into the area.  Apparently, losing those toys won't make a difference, other than to give excuse to launch an attack.  No word on the value of the lives on-board those toys, but we are left to assume that they are expendable, as well.

Meanwhile, China is buying up gold like it's going out of style.  This is not a normal thing, at least in the sense that one announces it out loud.  I mean, if you go to the bazaar to buy Persian rugs, you don't start by yelling at the top of your lungs that you'll buy any and all rugs right now.  Makes it a bit hard to negotiate a good deal, I would think.  They are obviously sending up flares to signal other folks about something.

We know that both China and India have told Iran they will continue to buy oil, using gold if need be, despite any sanctions.  Both countries are dependent on Iran for significant amounts of their energy needs.  So is Europe, but apparently they think they can make up the shortfall with their new prize called Libya.

Why gold?  Well, a great majority of the world's Central Banks are locked into the control grid of western financial hegemony.  Any significant cash transaction would have to be cleared through one of these branches of the Anglo-American hydra.  That means they could freeze any transaction and effectively shut down Iranian oil sales to anyone anywhere.  They've already frozen Iran's foreign cash reserves on deposit in Europe.

All sides of the China/India/Iran equation have a vested interest in using gold, which circumvents the whole currency problem and keeps the juice flowing.  One small to transfer that amount of physical gold without OTHER parties getting their hands on it.  You can be sure there are heated discussions going on in backrooms all over Asia on that topic.

The Zi-ican Empire has been beating war drums over Iran for 30 years now.  They have said the same things for 30 years: Iran is a threat, Iran will attack any day now, it's almost too late to dust Iran.  Why?  Iran hasn't attacked another country in 300 years (the Iran-Iraq war was defensive on Iran's part).  On top of that, western powers have directly meddled in Iran's internal affairs for the better part of a century (see Shah of Iran).  All the nuke inspections have repeatedly said that Iran is NOT making weapons, and they are perfectly within their legal and moral rights to develop nuke power plants.

These points are all fine and good to ponder, but I hear you asking, "What does all this have to do with the normalcy bias?"

Well, ever since WWII, America has made a habit of attacking little countries far away that don't have a hope in hell of launching a counter-attack.  I mean, seriously, Panama and Haiti weren't real threats, and neither was Iraq.  Americans have gotten used to the fact that they can run around torching other people's homes with impunity.  It seems perfectly normal, in a warped sort of MSM way.

Iran is not a normal case.  To start with, they have some deep economic ties with such insignificant players as Russia and China.  They also are fairly cozy with Venezuela and Brazil, which themselves supply a large part of America's go-juice.  Just in economic terms, an attack on Iran would cause life to change rather suddenly and dramatically there in the Homeland (sieg heil!).

It wouldn't even have to be a direct retaliation.  China could turn off the spigot of exports to the US, and POOF!  No more iPads and Nikes.  Hugo Chavez wouldn't take much convincing to turn off the hose running into US refineries.  Neither would Brazil, which has a habit of meeting US BS with equal and opposite regulations.  Russia, well...lot's of bad blood there, too.

The real problem is that Iran is not Haiti.  They have an honest-to-God space program with rockets capable to achieving orbit.  That means, just like Sputnik in 1958, that they can target pretty much anything but the far north reaches of Alaska.  Iran also has submarines and a hellacious navy and a bunch of other hi-tech toys they've purchased from their trading partners.  In other words, Iran is a serious target.

Like a neighborhood bully, the US hasn't directly confronted a real opponent since Germany in the Big War.  They really haven't even won a war since then.  Korea is still under a cease-fire.  Vietnam was an unqualified loss.  And no other country attacked by the US has signed Articles of Surrender since Japan.

Oh, sure, the Americans declared victory in Iraq and now we're pulling all our toys out, but I defy anyone to produce Articles of Surrender where Iraq gave up the fight.    It stands to reason that Articles will never come out of Afghanistan, as well.

Haiti, Panama, Granada...anyone?  Seen Articles of Surrender?  Didn't think so...

Back to normalcy.  Americans are pretty complacent.  Sure, the official 9/11 conspiracy theory says that the Homeland (sieg heil) was directly attacked by outside forces, but any thinking person has serious doubts about that one.  But since the War of 1812, no one (other than Mexican drug cartels) has attacked the US.

A war on Iran would certainly have all the ingredients to change that.  Americans would do well to seriously consider the consequences before rallying the war dogs this time.  This is not one of America's normal romps in the Third World.

The big hew and cry is that Iran MIGHT attack Israel at some indeterminate point in the foggy, vast future, and America must defend its little buddy, no matter what they do or to whom.  Well, frankly, Israel is like that friend you had back in grade school.  You know, the one who would poke, tweak and punch you all the damn time, but then laugh and say, "Hey, it's all just good fun, right?"  It worked for a while, but eventually you got the point that this jerk didn't have your best interests at heart.

Maybe things seem normal in your immediate environment, but one of the things that separates humans from animals is that we have the mental horsepower to perceive things beyond our senses.  We can reason through chains of events and play out scenarios before we take action.

If ever there was a time for Americans to rein in their government and take back control, this is it.  There's going to be a lot of shocked faces when one day, the world fights back.  It's one thing to run around taking over islands and tin pot dictatorships, but it's an entirely different matter to pick a fight with someone who can fight back.

Bullies always cry bloody murder when someone fights back.  They are never prepared for that.  Their normalcy bias is that everyone will just roll over and give up the milk money.  At some point, though, someone always fights back.  It's only a matter of time.  It's the nature of bullies to enjoy inflicting pain, but they are shocked when they feel it.

Imagine someone flying regular bombing sorties over your neighborhood.  Imagine drones and cruise missiles leveling downtown.  Imagine roads and airports bombed into lunar landscapes.  That's what America has done to many other nations.  What happens when it gets some back?

There ain't nothing normal about the global situation at present.  We would all do well to seriously ponder what we will allow our governments to do.

Put that in your bias and smoke it...

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