Monday, March 06, 2017


Dmitri Rybolovlev and Elena, now divorced, at least trying to.

National news, much less international news, has never been a focus of mine, but things are so crazy now that I’m checking the news hourly, even though it contradicts itself all the time, and revelations go deeper and deeper, layer after layer.  The more I chase explanations, the more I get suspicious and resistant.  I’m torn between thinking I have insight and just getting stuck.

On a psychiatrist’s newsletter, the doctor says that if Trump were his patient, he would hospitalize him at this point.  Blow, a NYTimes writer, suggests that Trump needs to be “paused.”  That is, no more flourishes of the pen or dawn Tweets until he stabilizes.  

At bedtime, in search of reassurance, I stumbled upon Rachel Maddow, a program I’d never watched before and I began to at least see the strings on the puppet.  It’s about money, it is Russia-focused but involves global finance, and it is not Trump’s program at all.  In fact, Trump is a victim.  One must be very careful where one borrows money, because the “bank” can call it in and the interest may be very high.  More than knee-capping.

Now that Trump has become so obvious a nut case, he’s of no use to his financers.  He should not let anyone approach him waving a cloth or carrying an umbrella.  He’s now expendable.  But it is much more clever to push him over into madness then to assassinate him.  If he were not crazy, he might be in danger of something like suicide or just resignation or blowing the whistle because of realizing his situation.  It would call for scrutiny.  But I think he’s truly an Alzheimer’s victim or someone is slipping him crazy-juice.  Probably Bannon, who partakes to the point of wanting only destruction and saying so.

For days and weeks various people have been hinting that something big was coming, something far beyond disliking a cheesy guy who got into office by a structural glitch and clever use of Big Data and gerrymandering.  It may be that Trump has been an ATM for Russian oligarchs, which is not the same as the nation of Russia.  The oligarchs now own what was previously the wealth of their nation.  They need to park the money somewhere.

One of Maddow’s convincing notions (to me) was about the incredibly wealthy man (see heading) who was trying to hide his own wealth from his divorcing wife by purchasing very expensive things (like art) and stashing them in big trucks that can be moved around (the way we once proposed moving nuclear weapons to keep them from being targeted).  

If you’re at the Russell Auction, take a look around.  It used to be a major selling point that Western art was a great place to invest in a commodity that would increase in value.  It was true and not true.  Scriver art is not selling at auctions for high prices, but most of the pieces on the market are late works commissioned by entrepreneurs.  Of the thousands of bronzes and hydrocals Bob created and sold, there is only one at the Russell Auction.  I’m saying, investing in art means that a lot of it goes off the market.

But Maddow’s real meat was about the economic connectedness of the world “1%” and their need to keep wealth hidden.  Trump was the money pimp.  Most of this is bookkeeping.  Bob used to joke about the ranchers who both had thousand-dollar stud horses, because they each sold the other their horses for a thousand dollars.  It was factual once the purchases were recorded.  She began her program by noting that big money is not bales and suitcases of paper bundles, but rather book-keeping.  No one can pack around a trillion dollars in bills or even gold.

So it seems clear to me that money, BECAUSE it is book-keeping done on computers now, is money that is interceptible by hackers, and also that wealthy people above a certain level are no longer individuals and MUST have an organization and a relationship with nations.  Money is national.  The units of measurement are national and their relationships among each other are negotiable.  Therefore money is political.  Everything political has a secrecy dimension because no polity is monolithic and sub-groups are playing poker.

So what does it have to do with Valier?  Ranchers are dependent on loans from banks which will be affected by any international banking systems.  The food in our stores comes from merchandizing systems that reach out across the continent.  What we have here to send back is beef, pork, wheat and barley.  This system network is always dependent on “bookkeeping” and credit with interest.  That’s not even mentioning our health care systems, our pension plans, or our social subsidy money.  If my Social Security check doesn’t hit the bank once a month, how do I survive?  This link is to Maddow at 9AM on Monday, which is what I saw last night.  I had never watched her before, but I find her more clear and intelligible than most commentators.  She names names, which is necessary because no formal systems have much to do with the dynamics.  It’s all handshakes, no paper, “friendship” (meaning people who can’t risk ratting each other out), and a big facade of sex, glamour, prestige, doing good for others, and the arts.  Patriotism has very little to do with it.  Pre-existing marital and inheritance law has little to do with it.  The Trumplets haven’t really figured that out yet.

Access to info can be a wealth, something valuable a person can “sell.”  With the Internet, teenagers in their basement bedrooms can download the equivalent of secret nuclear plans as well as messing with the neighbors’ refrigerator.  Except that there’s no necessity for them to be in the kind of neighborhoods that have cyber-home systems.  They could be squatting in an abandoned warehouse or warming a chair in the local library.  VERY few old white golfers with big collar sizes can even understand computers, much less operate one.  Trump’s Oval Office, when the desk has anything on it besides a phone, holds piles of newspaper clippings, probably articles about Trump.  You can see them there, next to the Diet Cola on its coaster.

One COULD argue that this puts society back into the hands of individuals and that is the ultimate democracy.  Is that a good thing?  Considering the performance of schools preparing kids to be citizens?  AAAAEEEUUUGH.  I don’t really care who pees on whom.  In fact, I’ve given up on the idea that “who” is the subject form and “whom” is the object form, though that was once a signal of education.  So was voting, but these days a near majority of people now fail to vote.

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