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Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Militarization Of Our Own Police

The G-20 in Pittsburgh, during September, was an eye-opener for many locals, as well as followers of the event. For the city of Pittsburgh, the disturbing takeover by police and military forces has since passed not unlike a go-around with a painful gallstone.

But the reality is that there are other locations around the country experiencing the impact of Martial Law exercises and their local police department’s spending government funds on brand new riot gear, armored assault vehicles, and other pieces of equipment designed for war and the occupation of a community, city or county. The terrorism industry has now taken hold in the United States. Even former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served under George W. Bush, has warned us of the potential to overspend on the anti-terrorism industry, or terrorism industry depending on how you look at it.

During an interview on Oklahoma television, while on a speaking tour, he told the reporter that the United States has many other very important ways to spend its money. He said that we must be careful to have balance in our national spending, and appropriate domestic funds on what is needed to be safe and nothing more.

Former President Eisenhower expressed a similar point during his term as president. As a former general, he warned the nation of the military industrial complex and the dangers of becoming too consumed with such a build up. Today, the United States spends one-third of it budget on the military industrial complex.

Maybe it was no surprise to the 1200 residents of Troy, Tennessee, on September 30, 2009, when 150 soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, and the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade out of nearby Fort Campbell conducted a full scale air assault training operation in preparation for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010. Maybe I am an alarmist, but after witnessing what Martial Law could look like, such training exercises that went on without concern in Troy could easily be exercises in the occupation of an American city, as well.

It appears that on the same date as the training in Troy, a small rural town with no police force, known as Hardin, Montana, was occupied by a private para-military force, which went under the name of the “American Police Force”. This private police force, with a Serbia-like logo attached to their black Mercedes SUVs, and commanded by an ex-felon, paraded around town scaring the bajeebers out of the local residents. One of the town officials had arranged for an un-contracted agreement with the APF before they decided to move into town and guard/ occupy an empty prison facility. In addition, they also decided to become the de-facto police force for this town.

It sure sounded like an old western movie when a band of bad boy cowboys take over a quiet, unassuming little one eyed place in the road trying to mind its own business. When the United States begins to see private para-military forces getting contracts on native soil, I believe we all need to take notice.

So, what is the fear? Why do local municipalities, counties, and cities have to request federal government funds to purchase equipment that would more likely be used in a militarized zone, or to combat terrorism? Is this nation hiding terrorists in Oakland, California, or Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, or in Marin County, California, or Sacramento, California, and need to be supplied with front line combat gear provided through the Department of Homeland Security? The HLS department has passed out $465.2 million in stimulus money for armor plated assault vehicles, LRAD machines, training exercises, gas masks, bomb-mitigation vehicles, surveillance devices, new digital radios, ammunition, a 44-foot fast-response boat with a kitchenette and mount capable of holding an M60 machine gun, Segway scooters for bomb squads, outfitted with all-terrain tires, oversized fenders, and trailer hitches, computer-aided dispatch equipment, hazmat response vehicles, surveillance gear, portable radios, respirators and much more stuff a lot of which will never be used and likely collect dust and turn into junk. Why?

Now we ask what is happening to America? It has entered into a new paradigm and it does not look good. There are tent cities popping up all over this country. People who were once homeowners and renters, with jobs, and spending money are now living in their cars, in storm sewers (Las Vegas), and empty buildings. There are now 1 in 50 school aged children living outside of a permanent home. Nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, and it is projected that by next year there will be 52 million uninsured. And then, there are the 16-25 million underinsured. These people just might go bankrupt because of medical bills piling up, or because their health care provider refuses to pay. 62% of all bankruptcies were from those with health insurance. The Commonwealth Fund had reported that nearly two-thirds of US adults, around 116 million people, struggled to pay medical bills, or went without health care because it cost too much, or were uninsured for a time, or were just underinsured.

Are these the people that our law enforcement will use their new Homeland Security “toys” on once they get angry enough to protest their government’s Treasury theft? We all have to wonder, and, possibly worry, as well. As Pittburghers recently witnessed, these weapons were used upon citizens protesting just this economic theft and the G-20 nations, many of which were complicit in the economic principles called neo-liberalism.

This blogger has been writing about the $23 trillion transfer of Treasury wealth and monetized by the Federal Reserve to backstop the small handful of huge financial-banking institutions that caused this economic disaster resulting in nearly 20% of the under-unemployment of our work force, and losses of half of America’s retirement savings wealth, or $2T, because they engaged in securities fraud and fabricated derivatives with no real capital to support them. Yet they have been bailed out (over $3T), and now, were about to pay billions of dollars in bonuses to keep their fraudsters from moving on until those at MSNBC, such as Dylan Ratigan, got really, really mad about this economic theft by the financial-banking crime syndicate bosses and seemed to have woken up President Obama from his deep sleep regarding this massive disrespect of all hard working Americans.

Now, Michael Moore has just written in his list of ‘What Not To Do’ suggesting Americans get their money out of the hands of Wall Street and, especially, away from the largest investment banking syndicate bosses. He is now saying what this blogger was saying months ago. Get out of Wall Street and put your money in local, neighborhood banks.

This economic collapse could have saved the Treasury most of the bailout money and the backstopping monetization scheme by just buying up the collapsed Wall Street investment banks that came to Hank Paulson, Congress and LittleBoyBush, at the time. Their street worth was less than $300B. Had Congress said to them, either you go out and find your own bailout funding, or we buy you out based upon your real worth, which wasn’t much. But no. The oligarchs won out. They succeeded in the socialization of their losses and the privatization of the winnings. The congresspersons needed to bailout the bankstas, so they could get some of that back in the form of campaign contributions.

So what does this all mean? It means that these large investment banks are still sitting on trillions of dollars of toxic mortgage debt, which has thus far not been written off. Just listen to Professor Elizabeth Warren, chair of the TARP Oversight Committee, and she will explain it further. Basically, the banks have been allowed to steal government money in order to gamble on Wall Street fattening up their balance sheets for a time in the future, maybe next year, when the dollar will be devalued so much that all that toxic mortgage debt could easily been written off at its lowest nominal value allowing the bailed out investment banks to return to profitability at the expense of the taxpayers. When the dollar devalues to that point, wages will fall, as well. More foreclosures, and unemployment will likely occur, and corporations and businesses will fold. Empty commercial buildings will dot the landscape of our communities. Yet the investment banks will be saved!!!!

They will be hated, too. Americans might just get angry, and hit the streets in mass demonstrations. At that point, all the Homeland Security toys and their keepers will be out in force holding them back with all their might. The tanks, assault weapons and vehicles, police in riot gear, and more might be seen occupying more and more communities.

Paralleling this scenario might be the Federal Reserve raising interest rates on the bonds once the banks are saved because Bada Bing Bernanke might be finding that foreign central banks, and sovereign wealth funds dumping low return treasury bills and bonds as a result of the dollar’s value tanking to be just too scary. A raise in bond interest rates could trigger inflation even more, as the Fed would try and re-attract foreign currency buyers back into the dollar. With wages very low, and people struggling to stay solvent, inflation would empty their skinny wallets even more. And, without new jobs to come on line, foreclosures, and shrinking spending will be the norm.

We experienced collapsing consumer credit by $19B, in July. August added another $12B to that collapse. This turns into a 5.8% annual rate drop in consumer credit. Who can borrow? Who wants to borrow? As consumer credit tightens due to rising unemployment, there are fewer credit-worthy people available to take on the risk. This will further collapse the demand for credit and deepen the recession.

The dollar is being shed by foreign central banks. More nations are buying euros and yen, the highest percentage in any previous quarter.

President Obama has been perpetuating the myth that “a dollar of capital in a [huge bailed out Wall Street] bank can actually result in eight to ten dollars of loans to families and businesses. In order for the $1 trillion that the Fed has lavished on banks to produce a faster pace of economic growth, [an unprecedented number of] indebted households and businesses would have to take on an additional $8-10 trillion [of new] debt. Indebtedness would become a way of life. That seems to be the plan.” (Cockeyed Economics, Alan Nasser, October 9-11, 2009,

The Average American household is too tapped out to even consider further indebtedness, especially since the banking oligarchs offered no “Shared Sacrifice” which President Obama has asked from all of us.

Found in the article “Cockeyed Economics” is the US Census Bureau’s Consumer Income Report of August 2008. It stated that real median household income was $50,233. Now for those households headed by married couples, have a median income of $72,785. If they own a home costing $169,000, it is very likely with all their yearly expenses, they have nearly zero savings at the end of a year. That means that with an unexpected expense or two or three, they have a zero balance at the end of the year. There is no savings. They might actually go negative. There would be no financial college support for their kids.

It appears that President Obama is stuck in a neo-liberal frame of mind. A form of laizzez-faire economic capitalism, which has shown to have failed and been the cause of this collapse. He actually seems to believe that by dropping wages resembling those of competing third world nations, the US will recreate the boom years of 1949-74. He does not seem to understand, as pointed out by Mr. Nasser, that it took decades to build a strong and vibrant, domestically consuming and exporting manufacturing sector. It has taken decades to destroy it. Therefore, it will take decades, again, to rebuild it into something viable. This is the Obama view of recovery.

What this means is further suffering Americans. A very eroded standard of living and our children never being able to have a life others had once joyfully experienced.

President Obama’s priorities are more with the financial-banking crime syndicate and making them fully solvent so they can once more sell wildly profitable exotic and toxic derivatives, which have basically dried up since the collapse of our economy, as well as perpetuate the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, than with those living and working on the corner of Main and Side Street.

It has been revealed that the fuel costs to America by just the U.S Marines in Afghanistan comes to $320 MILLION per DAY. That sure would buy a lot of recovery to working Americans. It costs the U.S Marines $400 per gallon of gas to fill their gas tanks. Is this what we need to be doing during this economic code red national security crisis?

It appears that the U.S government has armed the domestic police forces close to the level of what is found in combat theaters. Our government has militarized our neighborhood cops and is training them to see the public as a possible enemy. Why? Because the United States is devolving into a third world country. It is in decline in nearly every possible way. The corporate oligarchs have taken power by "over-lording" the White House, trying to control a great many congresspersons, and influencing the final outcome of our laws in order to suit their corporate agendas.

This is the new American Paradigm. And, this may be only the beginning. But we can do something to possible change the direction. One major directional change would be to pull all your money away from the hands of Wall Street, otherwise, they have it for their own use.

A new American Paradigm has been cooking in the crock-pot for 30 years, and now it has boiled over. The question is—what comes next?

thanks for reading, jerry