Cyreenik Says

July 2019 issues

Contemporary saber rattling -- the British/Iranian ship standoffs

Saber rattling is when two communities are doing lots of military threatening, but don't actually want to escalate into a war. The converse is manufacturing an incident to have an excuse to start a war and then quickly escalating into full blown conflict. Examples of manufactured incidents are the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 which was an excuse for the US to get deeply involved in the Vietnam War, and the Marco Polo Bridge incident in 1937 which was Japan's excuse to invade China as its start to World War Two.

Saber rattling is something different -- instead of being the beginning of a full blown assault there is a steady stream of small military actions accompanied by lots of threatening language. This month the British and Iranians have been trading ship seizures. These are provocative, but neither side seems to want to escalate into full military engagement.

What usually ends saber rattling is negotiations, not big military engagements. Usually...

This 20 Jul 19 WSJ article, Iran’s Tanker Seizure Presents U.K. With Policy Dilemma by Max Colchester and Benoit Faucon, talks about what has been happening.

From the article, "Britain’s decision to seize an Iranian tanker off the coast of its overseas territory of Gibraltar earlier this month is fast snowballing, dragging the country deeper into an escalating crisis between Iran and the West."

And this article is about more saber rattling the easy way: arresting your own people as spies. This 22 Jul 19 WSJ article, Iran Says It Has Arrested Alleged U.S. Spies by Aresu Eqbali, talks about that.

The bond market is getting strange -- dream changing is coming soon

The bond market is going into strange places. This is a sign of dream changing, which is a sign that a bear market and a recession are coming soon... soon meaning within months. This 14 Jul 19 WSJ article, Oxymoron Alert: Some ‘High Yield’ Bonds Go Negative by Paul J. Davies, talks about high yield bonds actually giving negative returns.

From the article, "In the latest sign of financial markets going into uncharted territory, more than a dozen junk bonds, which usually carry high yields, now trade in Europe with a negative yield.

It is a stark illustration of how ultraloose monetary policies have turned debt investing into a choice about how to lose the least amount of money."

The next Big Visions: climate change and health care

Communities like Big Visions. Big Visions are ideas that a community can get behind and give lots of support to. Their virtue is cutting down on squabbling in the community so the community gets more done and feels more comfortable about what it has accomplished.

Big Visions come in many sizes and varieties. They guide individuals and communities of all sizes. The ones that guide bigger communities are the most notable. One I grew up with during the Cold War was "Is this helping us fight the Communists?"

In 2019 I've seen a couple new visions gain strength: One is fighting climate change and another is spreading health care more widely.

These Big Visions are now talked about widely in social and news media and they are helping many organizations with their planning and choices.

They are providing the virtues that make Big Visions popular.



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