Do I need to identify these two?
I find that my opinion of the current hearings at top levels is slightly different than that of others. Maybe worth sharing.
The governmental, democratic, and idealistic issues that are so damning of Trump do not affect him at all. He is blind to them. It’s Comey who's obsessed with them, almost to the point of blinding himself, but not really because he is part of a team who don't hesitate to differ. If we’re disappointed in Trump, think how badly Putin must feel that his boy toy turns out to have wheels that fall off. His support of Trump is gone now. “Shields up, Scotty!”
I am not surprised by the reactions of the public who seem to think they are just watching another iteration of a TV series saga and that they are perfectly capable of rendering judgment without any real knowledge, the kinds of things that we used to have hammered into us in the Fifties high schools and that often take rigorous careful reading of dense materials. Few read at all now, and the newspapers are empty anyway. What we read at all, we read online on the way to work. Even families use Facebook vids to communicate, framed and brief, because work is life. Food and shelter.
Content is replaced by score keeping. Even entertainments are judged by the numbers: how many people in the audience rather than the quality of what is being presented. It is gratifying that the hearings are coming up with such good numbers that adverts for news shows are going up and smart commentators are examining their contracts.
Trump does not want to be impeached because at that point he is no longer above the law. Once impeachment begins, even if it does not succeed, he can be indicted, tried, and punished according to CRIMINAL law in the most straightforward way: RICO, tax evasion, etc. Much of the baffling silence on the part of the investigating parties is about that, I believe. They don’t want to scare off the “street distributors”, the little fish. I’d like to see the numbers on how many have already quietly left town, and even country. It’s pretty clear how many are refusing to come aboard a sinking ship. Deal-making must be smokin' hot.
Money laundering via real estate will probably be a major dimension, but also this is a crowbar opening global monetary conspiracy on the part of the “evil cabal” who has for decades hidden money in island countries, now beginning to breach their secrecy promises because of governmental levers. Possibly because of something like mafia wars among them. I think there are a lot of small forces interacting so subtly that we don’t quite realize them.
Long ago I read an article, maybe in the New Yorker, about how insurance companies handle their money. When there are no major disasters, the accumulated monthly payments have to go someplace and one happy place is ag lands across middle America. Investments in these mega-operations are quiet, even secret. The problem comes when something like New Orleans happens and the ag land must be sold to make the payouts. It takes time to find buyers, unless one goes outside the nation — to China or Russia. The laws do not keep up with this development. Global warming will provide more frequent disasters.
The illegal drug business is going off the rails. By now their devised ever-more-powerful derangements are so powerful that they kill the customers. This is bad business. Back to the whisky. Or pharma blackmail that can hold people hostage for their lives, like HIV or diabetes maintenance. Too often pre-existing criminal networks turn to direct human trafficking, buying people and psychically maiming them for the sake of control. Once their lives are throwaway, no one minds or even knows. No wonder we obsess about zombies.
I already mentioned the quiet unlocking of secret and untouchable money storage but money is mostly only bookkeeping. “Assets” are different. I’m very familiar with the practice of storing money in art and the problems with that practice, like knowing which art will hold its value over time. Or someone carelessly putting their elbow through your priceless painting. It used to be a marketing practice to emphasize the durability of bronze and little charts of the value of Remington bronzes compared to the stock market. Until there began to so so many knockoffs.
One of the most obvious clues that money-as-bookkeeping is ending is the growing and perfecting of better systems of online “credit/debit/interest” systems that will evade governments and other mega-systems that depend upon a fluctuating value of “cash” — the stock market, insurance, commodity futures, resource exploitation. Switzerland has even begun to spill the beans, now that there is no WWII to motivate the need for a safe stash among corrupt and over-hoarding people.
One of the by-products of the Internet is the impossibility of hiding cyber-bookkeeping and the ease with which huge amounts of data can be sorted acccording to various criteria. No need to ask the neighbors whether someone seems to live above his or her means — we can just call up the proper screen — if necessary, the “wayback” machines. It does no good to destroy a burner phone if the infrastructure is recording every connection. (When I was working for the Bureau of Buildings in Portland, one of my projects was figuring out the algorithm for slum landlords.)
Among bacteria there is a phenomenon called “biofilms” which is a spontaneous formation of sheets of bacteria attached to a surface. They are very hard to eliminate. When they get into the sinuses of the face or the lining of the abdomen, they are addressed with surgery that doesn’t always work. They can resist antibiotics and so on. (I’m aware of them because Bozeman. MT, is one of the places they are studied.)
I think with this metaphor when I consider human populations everywhere, who with the internet can now form “biofilms” rather than institutions or even governments. They are connected via internet, transactionally by common interests such as defined sexual identities, age groups, cultures of expertise like music and other skills. Not necessarily money, though money can be necessary. “Crowd-sourcing” relates to this somehow.
Biofilms tie into ecosystems. Humans ARE a biofilm on the planet, but the planet changes over time, so that phenomena that once supported life no longer do so. (Warmed, acidified, plastic-choked oceans, for instance.) The people who refute global warming are simply denying the possibility of mitigation and adaptation. They are right that it can't be stopped now. It’s happening too quickly for flesh-evolution so we must use cultural evolution, our human advantage. It will take repeated disasters (we’ve already seen them increase due to the exotic conditions we’ve created) to convince us to change our daily habit-based lives. It’s a lot of work to change habits.
The brain fart (to be crude) of Senator McCain is only an obvious version of what is happening all along at every economic and cultural level of the population. We are an aging population and part of the anthropocene that some deny is the growing increase in mental failure-to-function. It’s both chemical and cultural, but not unique. When I was working at Animal Control in Multnomah County in the Seventies, we had a county commissioner who fell asleep in the middle of council meetings. This was known, but not remarked on until he fell out of his chair, snoring, with video cameras running. It’s not a moral problem until the pretence of competence interferes with the job. Usually, assistants quietly clean up.
As we go forward, demographics will be the name of the game, both in terms of previously suppressed populations and in terms of generations. Dynasties are not good gambling bets in changing times.
Because of the intricacies and persistence of Trump’s projected “evil cabal” of money controllers (which I tend to believe in, though I can't figure out who they are) I’m wondering who is really behind his business which, to many accounts by investigators, is empty. His debt to asset ratio is not good. No better than his brain to decision ratio.