The electronic ink was barely dry on my Predictions for 2012, when those pesky Iranians decided to take an American hostage and sentence him to death for spying. The American in question, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, a US Marine Corp veteran of Iranian descent was, by all accounts, completely honest with Iranian Immigration Officials when he applied for a visa to visit his Grandmothers in Iran. After months of solitary confinement and a "confession", a show trial was held and Mr. Hekmati was sentenced to death. Analysts who know about such matters have posited that the Iranians snatched and convicted Hekmati in an effort to increase their leverage in upcoming nuclear negotiations...Interesting negotiating strategy, I must remember this trick the next time that I buy a truck (if I ever buy another truck). The difference is, of course, that car dealers DESERVE to be taken hostage by folks who are trying to avoid being gouged during car buying negotiations. A person who shows up at your door, is completely honest with you about his past, and asks to see his Grandmother(s) most definitely should be stopped at your door, or allowed to pass in peace. Make your choice. Duplicity is both dishonorable and unnecessary.
The Hekmati snatch and the latest Iranian warning to stay out of the Persian Gulf( or was it to knock a block of wood off their shoulder?) along with their headlong rush to split the atom and warnings that the next war with the US will be played out in the streets of New York is enough to increase my personal pucker factor a notch or two. My understanding is that the sanctions being imposed on Iran include a ban on the import of gasoline and diesel. It seems that after thirty-three years of revolutionary activity within Iran, the Iranians have neglected to build a refinery to refine all the oil that they produce. Nuclear weapons and regional espionage/terror organizations? Check. An essential oil refinery that can keep your country from being forced into a devastating war with the West? Not so much. What do countries do when we cut off their gasoline and diesel supply? Anybody ever heard of a place called Pearl Harbor?
Oh well, nothing to do but prep and, possibly be ready to move if you have a family, particularly children, in one of the major cities- especially of that city is New York, or Washington, DC, or has a substantial Muslim population (they tend to think globally, but act locally). The chances of the US and Israel going to war (even a limited war) with Iran and NOT having some sort of retaliatory strike within the US are very slim. New York and Washington have been named as targets. That doesn't mean that they won't strike in other places, as the targetted East Coast cities must be hardening themselves as I type.
What else does all this mean? Well, it means that, at least, thousands of people are gonna die, maybe some of them here. Of course, there will be an immediate spike in gas prices, $5 and change seems to be the going guesstimate, though $6 and change is possible--we saw $5.69 gas right here in my hometown after a hurricane a couple of summer ago. If the war lasts along enough, we could see shortages in stores and warehouses as shipping becomes prohibitively expensive, and a terrible downturn in the economy. First, all those newly hired retail clerks, servers and couriers will be shown the door, and then prohibitively high energy prices will do what prohibitively high energy prices do and the economy will be locked up like a game of twister played with Crazy Glue instead of baby oil...everybody here has played Twister with baby oil, right? Well, this may be your chance, as stay-at-home activities will be very popular. I predict a baby boom starting nine months after the first terror attack on a major US City.
The time to stock the pantry is now. The time to lay up a bit of fuel: a can or three of gas, a couple of bottles of propane, a bit more firewood; A bicycle, even an inexpensive one, and a few spare inner tubes and a pump; Batteries, a good shortwave receiver; Friends to call and someone to play Twister by candle light (even if the power is working, f___k 'em, have some fun...:). Stay aware, but don't be paranoid. Don't spread fear. Spread courage instead. They can kill us, but they can't eat us.