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by Al Martin

The Homeland Insecurity Field Trip for Seniors

(Dec 20) This is the story of my Special Alert Senior Citizens’ Field Trip. Where I live is included in the greater metropolitan area, which has in recent days been performing the special Office of Homeland Security drills or Terrorist Alert Drills, which is what they’re called.

      They offered us, the O&D; Crowd, or as we call ourselves the Old and Decrepit, a free field trip on the senior citizen shuttle bus with a free cardboard-tasting tuna fish sandwich lunch and presentation. They picked us up in front of the senior citizen community center, and as we were driving downtown to the city center, we got quite a look.

      There was a gal there that was dressed in an outfit I’ve never seen before. It was a light gray over dark gray, like a titanium gray uniform, with silver-looking inlaid epaulets that looked like wheat stalks. It was meant to look military and very official.

      Anyway, she was from the local CDF (Civilian Defense Force.), and she was telling us, when we got on the bus, that the CDF will soon be a fully funded and operational agency. After all, much of Patriot II was in law, and the state CDF coordinators have been already setting up county branches. They have also been receiving instructional courses at Quantico.

      She’s standing up front with a little microphone -– because they have a microphone built into the senior citizen shuttle, since none of us can hear anymore. The first thing she says when we got on and got seated, after everybody gets their portable oxygen and their canes and walkers and everything done. Then we got a little pin, a free lapel pin as we walked on the bus. It was an inset American flag with a picture of George Bush standing with his right arm up in the air, saying, “Our Leader.” We all pinned them on. And all the old gals are smiling because they couldn’t half see the buttons.

      Did I get any pictures? No cameras were allowed. She told us that right up front. You couldn’t take any pictures. So we were all seated, we had our little lapel pins on. And she says, “Good morning, loyal citizens.”

      Did anybody laugh? No, all the old people were mesmerized. They were mesmerized because they’re old and befuddled and only marginally understood what was going on. I think it was somewhere between mesmerized, patriotically charged, and scared shitless. Those are the three new emotions that the new Bushonian age of state security seems to spark. At least it does in the oldsters.

      But she’s smiling. The gal might be about 40 or so. She smiles and says, “Good morning, loyal citizens.” And everyone on the bus, just looking at her or straight at her, was saying, “Good morning!” because, you know, befuddled oldsters are trained that way. Like little school children. They begin to revert at a certain age.

      So then we were driving downtown. And then she says that this is going to be what the future will look like. It was billed as “a future look at America.” We got a speech on the way down about everything that our leaders are doing to protect us from terrorism and other seditious types. Oh-oh, and everybody starts looking around for “seditious types.”

      As we were coming down on Third Street, there was the first security checkpoint. It was managed by the new antiterrorist security unit within our own police department that has just received special training. These police fellows had the helmets on and the pistols and the sticks and the tasers and American flag patches on their shoulders.

      They were local police, but they were the new antiterrorist security unit within the police force that had just come back from their special training. So they come in and they’ve got black leather jackets on, black leather boots, practically up to the knees. They’ve got these titanium gray helmets with visors and their 9mm sidearms.

      Anyway Ethel, my next-door neighbor, who’s 89, is sitting next to me. Ethel was originally Dutch, and. she emigrated and came here right after the war. Of course, she had lived under German occupation in Holland. When Ethel sees them, she gets her little spectacles, and she grabs on my arm because it’s the morning. The poor things are tired. They haven’t had their juice yet and a lot of them haven’t taken their pills. They were a little befuddled. They’re just following the routine. But Ethel sees them and she grabs my arm, and she says, “Oh, the Gestapo!”

      The poor thing was befuddled because they drift in and out with the past confused with the present. But they got a pretty good take on it because they know the past. And she says, “Oh, the Gestapo!”

      She thought it was all coming back, that it was here again. “Oh, the Gestapo!” she says.

      The lead guy, who is probably about 40, it was hard to tell because they had their visors up, so it’s hard to tell, and to actually see their faces that well with these helmets. The guy knew we were all oldsters and sick and disabled, so he talks to us like we’re children. He said, “Now, loyal citizens, we’re going to have our security identification check. Now, you have to show your identification. And it must be a PICTURE identification. You can show your driver’s license. Although we understand that many of you seniors and disabled no longer have driver’s licenses, so your senior police civilian identification card would also be, you can also use that.”

      He also said, “Now, remember, loyal citizens, it is the law that you must carry picture identification and you must present it to law enforcement when asked. Otherwise it’s six months in the big house.”

      No, he didn’t really say the big house. But it was interesting the way he said it because I was listening to the way he was talking. It wasn’t that ‘you’re breaking the law and the penalty for breaking the law, for not having ID and showing it, is 6 months in prison,’ which is what he did say. But he didn’t say it that way. What he said was, “This was the penalty for refusing to comply to officers of the State.”

      It wasn’t reminding you of what the law was. It wasn’t even linking a potential prison sentence to the ID. It was 6 months imprisonment for failure to comply with the orders of an officer of the State. And, these poor old things and the old gals fumbling around in their purses.

      So we showed our ID’s and we’re holding them up, while the guy went down the aisle but he wasn’t really even looking at them.

      It was just a practice drill session for them, and it was to get us used to it. After all the whole tour was billed, “Getting Used to the Future.” This is what your leaders are doing to secure the nation from threat, and what loyal citizens must do to help the leaders. Not ‘their’ leaders. Everything was ‘THE LEADERS’.

      And I listened to all this since it was a 3-hour deal. Not one time was the word ‘our’ leaders, ‘our’ government, ‘their’ government. It was ‘the’ State, ‘the’ leaders. These people, they had the language down absolutely pat, to impart the message that they were trying to send.

      Then the guy stands back up front again and faces us. They’ve got the second guy standing there with a billy club out. He’s holding his billy club, and he said, “Thank you for your cooperation.”

      So they leave. And we’re getting ready to pass the security checkpoint. This was the new portable security checkpoints. It even said ‘Fort Campbell’ with digitized-looking writing on the little guard house. It all came from: U.S. Army, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. That’s where the antiterrorism training unit is. They weren’t cheap plywood things either, mind you. These were all a gray fiberglass, a little guard shack with the gate that went up, and bullet-proof glass inside, and the gate was automatic. There was also a black box next to the gate. I guess it was meant for foot traffic because there was a little space between where the gate and the guard shack was with another little swinging black anodized aluminum bar, which I presume was for foot traffic. The oldsters had a special lane. It said, “For handicapped and senior citizens.” They were very politically correct in the sense that they actually had a separate path lane for seniors, handicapped and disabled, where you could stick in your new senior citizen’s police identification card.

      So they didn’t have separate lanes for gays and Jews yet, but they did have a lane for the old and befuddled.

      After we get past the first checkpoint, we’re going down Third Street, and heading toward the senior citizens’ center. And the gal starts talking again. She said, “Now, remember, everyone, in the new environment (that was one of the big catch phrases we kept hearing, the new environment), in the new environment, loyalty is rewarded.” And she put her finger up in the air, “Loyalty is rewarded,” put her finger up in the air like we were a bunch of Fourth Graders.

      We keep driving all the way down Third Street, past the Post Office. This is sort of the government center area of town, with local and county government offices, and, there were Humvees there, and 2-1/2 ton Army convoy trucks. There was National Guard with the full field kit with the M-16's. There were the guard places and security gates all through the streets, and medical and a helicopter. They had a National Guard helicopter in the parking lot.

      We had to pass all this security and the flashing lights and the buzzers and, you would think that somebody was ready to drop an atom bomb the way this scene looked like. Then we turned the corner and got in front of the senior citizen center, which is where all this is being coordinated. We’re hustled into the senior citizen center, and there are about a dozen men and women in these same light-grey-over-titanium-grey uniforms in there with CDF, Civilian Defense Force, badges on. Unlike the classical badge, these badges are sort of chevron-shaped and they’re worn on the chest.

      I know what the senior citizens said. We all knew where we were going by the time we were in there. And they hustled us into the big room, which is called ‘the big room.’ It’s the games room and senior citizen activity room, for our cardboard lunches. This was free of charge, courtesy of the Civilian Defense Force. We had a tuna fish salad sandwich which tasted like cardboard, with stale Lays potato chips and a single emaciate, dried-out pickle slice and coffee in a Styrofoam cup, a brand of which I’d never heard. It was in a red bag, called something like ‘Super Value Discount Brand Coffee.’ I’d never heard of it and never seen it before, and it tasted just like it sounded.

      I mentioned, tuna fish for the oldsters because it’s easy to chew. And all the old gals were able to take out their teeth, which is what they like to do for their tuna fish. But this was absolutely terrible, I tell you.

      Then this guy comes out up on the podium, because they have a little podium up in front where, usually on Tuesday nights, the guy stands to announce the bingo numbers. He comes up front and he says, “Oh, good morning, loyal citizens.” The same thing again. And on cue, all of the oldsters said, “Good morning,” answering him back in a sing-song voice.

      There was an enormous American flag in the background, and a great big picture of George Bush, again standing, holding his right arm up, saying, “Our Leader.” And on the right side, there was a smaller picture of Dick Cheney.

      They had the movie screen out to see our 20-minute movie, and this movie was very slick. It tells you where we’re going, and what it’s going to look like in the new age of Bushonian State security. Everybody is smiling and waving and the seniors are all smiling. The children are in these little brown uniforms. I had talked to a guy who was in the local CDF, who said when they become a fully funded agency they are going to bring back the American Youth League again. I imagine this would take place after the relevant sections of Patriot II are funded.

      The actual funding bills for this have to be passed, which will probably come as the omnibus funding act under Patriot III. This is going to cost billions to do all this, but they are going to bring back the American Youth League. And I swear the uniforms look just like SA uniforms from the 1930's. Light brown shirts, dark brown, short knickers. I don’t know how you’re going to put boys in school knickers again. Those things went out years ago. I wore them in the 1950's when I was a little kid going to school.

      In this film they showed us, we saw a group of little kids, 9 or 10-year-old kids in their new AYL uniforms, and the armbands and the American flag epaulets. It shows them helping old people and another boy helping an old lady across the street. This was so sickly sweet. You could tell they were literally trying to turn back the clock. This wasn’t the future and it wasn’t 2007 America. What we were looking at (and the reason why we all identified with it) and it was a smart ploy -- this was 1957 America.

      The opening shot showed a car coming down the street and all the new buildings and American flags and everything that’s going to the security check points. And the car coming down the street (I wonder where the hell they got this thing) looked like a 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk. It was a very popular car. I know of someone who had the exact same model when I was a kid. And, I tell you, even for people who understand what in the hell is happening, it was comforting. It felt like warm fudge.

      They were associating the memories of the naive 1950's, the naive and narrow-minded, where loyalty was rewarded, where citizens did not question their government. So we saw this 20-minute film of what the future is going to look like, and to me, it was frightening. But, the oldsters, they loved it. Then we got a special package of coupons for Publix and Wal-Mart. I didn’t ever see them before. They must have been specially printed. But these were good coupons–a dollar off this, 2 dollars off that. I’ve never seen these coupons in the paper or a magazine. It was a specially prepared folder of senior citizen coupons. And it showed happy seniors on the folder. It was really great stuff.

      I imagine this was because they didn’t want anyone to ask, or they didn’t want to be reminded that seniors’ medical costs have increased by 50% and food costs have increased 28% in the past 4 years. Did you know what has occurred under this regime in terms of increases in retail food prices? Retail food prices have increased more in the previous 4 years than they have in any 4-year period in the past 100 years. That’s how much food prices have increased.

      But, of course, there wasn’t going to be any unpleasant questions You kept your mouth shut the whole time. Frankly, it was intimidating. I didn’t dare say anything. Some of these seniors around here aren’t as dumb as they look. They understand what’s happening. This is a very mixed area. It’s not all Republicans here, and I would guess that half of the seniors are Democrats. But, even for me, it was so intimidating the way it was done, this constant reference to our leaders, loyalty. “Loyalty will be rewarded.” “You must obey the officers of the State.” And the way this all got billed, you were frightened to say anything or to make a move.

      A lot of these seniors sitting there, many of my neighbors, were paying $200/month 4 years ago for their medication over and above what Medicare and their supplements cover, and now they are paying $300/month. They also know that their ability to continue to buy drugs in Canada or anywhere outside of the United States. Those days are going to come to an end. These were people that have felt the downside of Bushonomics. They have felt the Bushonian sting.

      The way the whole presentation is wrapped up, is that this is being done to secure the nation from threats because the rest of the world hates America. That was the comment. I could hardly keep my mouth shut because I was ready to stand up and say, “Whose fault is that?”

      But -- I was awfully frightened to stand up and say anything. This is superb psychology behind this. This new state security psychological operations director that puts all the literature and the films and the catch phrases and everything together -- what a job they’ve done.

      It’s a combination of trying to make you feel loyal, but also intimidating you by the power of the State.

      So we finished our lunch and we’re driving down Third Street again. This time all the way down, round the corner by the community park area. And we got to see our new free-speech zone. It’s a little area, maybe 40 x 50 feet at one end of the park because in the front of the park is the veterans graves and memorials. The gal says something like -- That is where the seditious people go. You see it is at the opposite end of the park in the back. We won’t sully the memory of loyal citizens that fought for this nation with those who would dissent.” Dissent! The way she said it.

      They brought us back to Wal-Mart to use some of our coupons, of course. This is the new Bushonian religion – spend, spend and spend some more. Especially if it’s Walmart, a prime Bush supporter.

      If it was Bushonian, you knew you had to get commercialism in it somewhere. We went in the super WalMart through the Senior Citizen Handicapped entrance area, which is all electric. It’s got the electric walkways, like airports do now, that just take you. You don’t have to walk. There are real big American flags hanging down with all the sales.. The point is simple -- “Loyal citizens are good consumers.”

      One of the free things we got at Wal-Mart’s for spending $20 or more with our coupons was another free American flag. And I was thinking, now I’ve got 4 free American flags from Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Publix.

      And when the ‘Inform on Your Neighbor’ program starts up again next year, I’m going to be all ready. I’m going to hang them off the fence. In other words, if you spend the $20, you get the free American flag (made in China of course), so you put it out in front of your house.

      That way I won’t get a $20 fine from the Condo Association for not having my American flag in front of the house...


A Series of Unfortunate
(Bushonian Economic) Events


      In other news, there was the Bushonian domestic economic summit in Washington last week. The summiteers are George Bush himself and members of his cabinet and members of the presidential council of economic advisors past and present, like Martin Feldstein, chairman of the Presidential Council of Economic Advisors under Reagan-Bush.

      The Regime laid out what its economic policies are, what it intends to do, what legislation and bills it intends to pass. Essentially, there are 3 bills. It’s pretty simple agenda. Those bills include Social Security Reform, i.e., Social Security “privatization.” The regime, including George Bush himself, has made it clear that they prefer the so-called C option; that is, A) they won’t raise FICA taxes; B) they won’t raise retirement ages; but C) they will have Social Security Administration transformed into a GSE (Government Sponsored Enterprise) then let it float between $1-3 trillion of quasi-government paper They didn’t mention, curiously enough, who they intend to sell this paper to or who they seem to think the buyers are for it will be.

      The two other policy options are pretty simple. They intend to make the existing multi-trillion-dollar long-term tax cuts for the Republican rich, as we have specified before, permanent; and they intend to seek a new multi-hundred-billion-dollar corporate tax relief program or corporate tax reduction program, which is nothing more than corporate welfare program.

      Here’s the curious language that tells you that they know what they’re doing, and where they’re driving the economic scenario. By the use the word ‘final’ all the time–“one ‘final’ multi-hundred-billion-dollar corporate tax relief bill, one ‘final’ hundred-billion-dollar individual tax cut for citizens earning more than $200,000 a year. What I found interesting was the use of the word ‘final.’ In other words, they are implying to those that understand where the regime is going and what it is doing, what Bushonomics are doing to the nation, and, by extension, the world, already know what the outcome is. Their use of the word ‘final’ sends 2 different signals. It is a signal to the Democrats that they won’t try to pass anything further. It also is a signal to wealthy Republicans, a covert signal that after these bills are passed, it is time to expatriate money, convert into gold, buy foreign land in earnest.

      In other words, they are referring to the amount of revenue that would then be denied to the Treasury by making Bushonian tax cuts for the Republican rich permanent, by increasing those tax cuts by a new hundred-billion-dollar package, another new $100-200-billion corporate tax cut package, which John Snow even admitted would be targeted to oil and gas, defense, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and financial services..

      They’re just coming out and admitting it. They’re not even hiding it, that a new $100-billion corporate tax relief program would be targeted to those sectors who provide the bulk of Republican political and special interest group money.

      This is the final consolidation. This is all there is; in other words. It is the final push, as we mentioned before, in the consolidation of wealth and power in higher, tighter and righter hands.

      What happens after that is that the budget deficits will be ballooned to such an extent that no further tax cuts, no further extension of existing tax cuts, no further increase in discretionary spending would be possible.

      And what they will do is leave enough room to continue to finance special budgetary appropriations for military expenditures. George Bush even said that what they would continue to do is to deceive the public by purposely not increasing the statutory defense budget in 2005. They would keep the statutory defense budget at $432 billion. Bush as much as admitted it when he said that they would leave enough room in deficit forecast for future special military appropriation bills.

      For instance, there is coming up the first 2 weeks after the new session in January the $80-billion special military appropriation to fund ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      To deceive the people into thinking that military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere that this regime has undertaken aren’t costing us anywhere near as much as they are, they purposely are not increasing the defense budget by very much because they know that it would be politically contentious to do so. It would give the Democrats ammunition to say, “Hey, if you want to increase the defense budget, then we want increases in social spending.”

      ‘Final’ means that once the budget deficits are ballooned–and remember, we’re already starting out from the point where budget deficits would be at least $50 billion more next year than they were this year. All you have to do is listen to him. The collapse of the United States will begin in earnest after this spending.

      In order to continue to service the debt after this enormous amount of spending, including the Social Security debt that would have to be created to privatize Social Security, they would “squeeze out” as Bush stated all remaining non-discretionary spending. In other words, they would cut out everything they possibly could that remains to be cut out, which is only about 3% of the budget, from discretionary spending: discretionary education spending, discretionary social programs, discretionary Medicare/Medicaid programs. They’re going to squeeze out another 3 or 4%, which is all they can squeeze out of these programs, in order to try to support the deficit.

      ‘In earnest’ means that they would effectively begin after September of 2005, after the close of fiscal year 2005, to consume the percentage of the planet’s net savings rate that this regime is consuming in order to finance its budget

      When it begins to unravel, and what Bush is talking about, is that after the close of fiscal year 2005 the rate of increase of the planet’s net savings rate, which the regime is consuming, will begin to dramatically increase. They will be consuming at least 85% of the planet’s net savings rate.

      When the GAO initially made that estimate of 2009 for when the U.S. could no longer service its debt, it was assuming that the increase in the planet’s net savings rate this regime would consume to finance Bushonian current account, budget and trade deficits would increase at no more than 3% a year. That estimate can’t hold with all of these additional tax cuts, with the multi-trillion-dollar Social Security privatization.

      Despite all the political rhetoric to the contrary about practicing fiscal restraint, no effort at fiscal restraint will be made. They are operating on a pure Bushonian agenda, which is simply to transfer as much wealth from the hands of the many into the hands of the few whilst there is still the final window to do it.

      It’s interesting to note: the Economic Policy Institute did a study of these further tax reductions that this regime will be able to push through, and they will be able to get them. They have sufficient control in the House and the Senate to push these bills through. This will result, by the way, that by June of 2008, the magic Bushonian number would be reached; that is, the top 1% of the nation would, by that time, control 75% of all of the wealth in the nation.

      If you’re not a wealthy Republican by then, that’s when the proverbial gnashing of teeth will begin “in earnest.”

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    * AL MARTIN is an independent economic-political analyst with 25 years of experience as a trader on NYMEX, CME, CBOT and CFTC. As a former contributor to the Presidential Council of Economic Advisors, Al Martin is considered to be a source of independent analysis for financially sophisticated and market savvy investors.

After working as a broker on Wall Street, Al Martin was involved in the so-called "Iran Contra" Affair as a fundraiser for the Bush Cabal from the covert side of government aka the US Shadow Government.

His memoir, "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider," (http://www.almartinraw.com) provides an unprecedented look at the frauds of the Bush Cabal during the Iran Contra era. His weekly column, "Behind the Scenes in the Beltway," is published weekly on Al Martin Raw.com, which also publishes a bimonthly newsletter called "Whistleblower Gazette."

Al Martin's new website "Insider Intelligence" (http://www.insiderintelligence.com) will provide a long term macro-view of world markets and how they are affected by backroom realpolitik.



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