Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mar-a-Lago. The ghost of Marjorie Merriwether Post. History of uses.

Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago was once the US Mar-a-Lago.
It was a gift to be used as a Winter White House. None of them did; so it was sold.
Economy of use of public money, more important. Sold under President Carter.

residential
Update: See the NYT article, on contemporary issues, members on list, other presidents with seasonal-use alternate White Houses.  NYT, however, omits the history. See https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/18/us/mar-a-lago-trump-ethics-winter-white-house.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0. Find that history here, 

Mar-a-Lago. Between sea and lake -- or inland waterway.
Also between ethical and unethical: 
What enriching, business-enhancing, and other connections, does this place offer?
Worth it to the nation?

Study Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate and private club belonging to President Trump.  It has with high entry fees and much luxe, on some 17 acres on an elongated 16 mile island at Palm Beach. Mar-a-Lago is greatly altered from its prior privacy-oriented uses, as is allowed for private owners.

Ask -- What are its pitfalls for conflicts of interest, now that we have us a President: emoluments, etc. It gets little attention in that regard. Could he use it as outlined? How to prepare, respond. Moscow in the photo, see text below, relates only to an unexplored business opportunity for Mr. Trump there, related to his ownership of Mar-a-Lago.  Combining presidential residence with commercial club-resort offers multiple opportunities for just happening to bump up with persons otherwise required to sign in, please.

Meanwhile, enjoy the history. Visionary: Marjorie Merriwether Post.

Background. History.  The location is the name:  Mar-a-Lago, from sea to lake, from the Atlantic Ocean to the IntraCoastal Waterway. See map.  Read its 2016 social history.  And wonder at and admire the philanthropy, dignity, of its originator, Marjorie Merriwether Post.
Trump bought Mar-a-Lago long after the fact of earlier-owner glories and dreams -- Marjorie Merriwether Post and family, see timeline below.  He has no obligation to honor tradition, its creation by others, in any way. It's his. In summary, Marjorie Merriwether Post left it by will in 1973 to the United States Government for a winter White House, but it was costly to maintain and was not used for that. President Jimmy Carter saw that it reverted to the heirs, including Post's daughter Dina Merrill, see below, and the property was put on the market,   Trump bought it in 1985, all legal.

1.  Did he "save" it by buying it? Hardly. He kept up bricks and mortar; but to "save" it would be to preserve it for its intended government private use. Trump does plans to use a wing as a southern White house, as he also intends to continue using his NYC residence and the DC White House, but the point is not that partial use.

Instead of preserving, which is an integral part of "saving" (and he had absolutely no obligation to preserve anything). he had the choice and people's choices define them. No philanthropist, he has transformed it into a lucrative commercial venture. He converted it for his own aggrandizement, but did not "save" it.  Just use the wording that conveys the reality, is all.


So, no, he did not "save" it.  Instead, he worsened it in terms of its original use. Anybody care? Not as long as the money flows and all the soft little hands outstretched get refilled, and refilled. The DeVos rule, to add to the Greene 48.

2.  Emoluments?  All so far is legal?  money-making?. Who cares?  People in this country value money first. That's what they do.  Nonetheless, inquiry is appropriate. Is there a tangle of emoluments here? Should parameters be set? Somebody explore.

3.  Now: secret proposal to Mr. T.  Preparation for four more years; How about yet another, and hereby patented, business opportunity. Can I do that?  Either way, Mr. Trump, if and when you all do this, think of me. In case I haz any rightz here, do whatz right. Not just what is legal.

3.1  Secret business opportunity:  Mr. Trump has an "in" with Russia in ways yet unexplored. The Russian Art Collection. See http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/russian-collection.  Said there to be the most comprehensive Russian collection outside Russia. If you like Catherine the Great, do you like the Orlov service? see http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/collection/search?f_p=38

3.2  Secret details
  • Mar-a-Lago is the brainchild-dream of Marjorie Merriwether Post,  who accrued a vast Russian art collection, in the Stalin years, now at her museum-home at Hillwood, outside Washington DC.  
  • Mr. Trump has a business opportunity here:  Sell an arts and access package. Did you know your predecessor had such an art collection? Now you do. 
    • Have people stay at the Trump hotel in DC, 
    • \Whiz them (helicopter would be nice. Does the hotel have a pad?) over for a private showing and glitz meal with the butlers and butlesses at the Hillwood Museum, and see the Russian art (all apparently with provenance aceptable)/

Mar-a-Lago business opportunity. Tie in Russian Art Collection of Marjorie Merriwether Post at Hillwood with a stay at the Trump place in DC, then flap down to Palm Beach, Russia, and see where the Collection's originator lived.
 Make money. Ads in Russia. See their art in the US with access opportunities.

4.  Credit roll.

No-one has to give credit where credit is due, see that at Law 7 and other admonitions in Robert Greene's Rules of Power. Noone legally has to honor a predecessor whose vision and love of place made it possible for another to leapfrog into higher status, even if not acceptance by those who came before, see http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/inside-mar-a-lago-trumps-palm-beach-castle-and-his-30-year-fight-to-win/2254128.  This is not a required "attribution" of source, no plagiarism of real estate. Would a truly great person extend credits instead of simply self-promote? This is the Post estate, not the Trump's in vision.

5.  Timeline excerpts

1920 -- Marriage of Marjorie Merriwether Post, who inherited the fortune accrued by her parents in Post cereals, evolve to General Mills I think; and E. F. Hutton, founder of the Wall Street stock firm -- when it talks, people listen, etc.

In all, she was married four times, just go to Wiki, issues not relevant here.  E. F. Hutton: later fell on hard times, now working to get up off the mat again, see http://riabiz.com/a/2015/3/26/why-ef-huttons-rebooters-took-the-arse-backward-tack-of-selling-public-shares-and-buying-a-brand-before-developing-a-product

1923 -- Birth of daughter of Marjorie Merriwether Post and E. F. Hutton, Dina Merrill: actress, philanthropist, businesswoman, socialite. See site for biography, husbands and their resources. I see no obituary, do a search for other life details not relevant here. She dealt with Mar-a-Lago and other issues upon the death of her mother.

  • A moderate Republican.  
  • Surely she could be remembered at Mar-a-Lago. Which bedroom was hers? 
    • Dina Merrill grew into many roles, including that of a moderate in Republican circles, and advocate for issues in women's health, supporting the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition, see Pro Choice Republicans Condemn Platform (opposing abortion, campaign era of George W. Bush 1996) http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=123139&page=1.

1924-1927 -- Heiress and socialite, bright person and visionary, this Marjorie Merriwether Post found the site for and had built this magnificent ocean-front estate, some 128 acres at the time? at Palm Beach, Florida.  See http://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/home-decor/a7144/mar-a-lago-history/  It has 128 rooms.

1930's -- Acquisition of Russia Art Collection, see Hillwood at Washington DC, above.  Explore. There are 384 pages like this one, see http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/collection/search?filter=Place%20made:Russia.  For a less formal look, see https://www2.gmu.edu/news/258

1973 -- Death of Marjorie Merriwether Post.  By will, she left the property to the United States Government (now the untied states government), see Palm Beach Post,  for use as a retreat, like a winter White House, for presidents. See http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/inside-mar-a-lago-trumps-palm-beach-castle-and-his-30-year-fight-to-win/2254128  None used the property.  Maintenance costs were about a million dollars a year.

1985 -- Trump and wife Ivana bought the property. Purchase price:  Ten million. See http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/national-govt--politics/look-inside-mar-lago-donald-trump-palm-beach-estate/sCIe7q5aA1RVPLmfXXLfCO/.

This site says five million. See http://www.newsmax.com/RonaldKessler/donald-trump-mar-a/2011/01/20/id/383396/

And from then on, it was fight, fight. See http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/inside-mar-a-lago-trumps-palm-beach-castle-and-his-30-year-fight-to-win/2254128

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Legitimacy of a presidency. Support special commission. Determine legitimacy of FBI processes. Partisan or not?

Progress appears. Traction emerging. Appoint special counsel, independent commission, special commission, to investigate the processes of the 2016 election:  Foreign intervention and agency partisanship.

Learn the process: see https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/28/600.1.  See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/77uuu.  See https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/11/part-7/subpart-C. Legitimacy of a presidency is a greater issue than liking a president or not.  Legitimacy in achieving office is not a matter of opinion, floating on who got which votes.  Legitimacy depends on process, whether the law was followed, no matter what the topic.  Illegitimacy: in elections:  did a government agency act or omit to act with the intent of fostering one candidacy over another. Legitimacy is like Robert's Rules of Order in elections.
 
The means are available. An independent commission. People also can help:  Read George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior: at page 31 -- "When another speaks be attentive yourself, and disturb not the audience. If any hesitate in his words, help him not, nor prompt him without being desired; interrupt him not, nor answer him, till his speech be ended.‎"

Support an independent commission. Trump's election legitimacy depends on it; and with it, whether he can serve in a positive way, without that distraction. Why should anyone pay attention to someone in office thanks to foreign intervention and partisan misdeeds in a government agency. No reason. Give us a break, Trump.  Put this issue to rest. People, do not be quiet about the issue that John Lewis has properly raised, even though Morning Joe just advocated that people just be quiet. 

Legitimacy is a foundational issue. Explore the FBI. Don't be quiet. Accountability counts.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trevor Noah for Secretary of Education. Reject Betsy DeVos. Unregulated capitalism exploits.

1.  Choose Trevor Noah.

This is a wise, seasoned man, with black mother, white father, raised in South Africa, who now is running interference on late night TV.  He knows legions about the broad aspirations and barriers to accomplishment that people of color experience. That is a universal issue.  He also has the perspective, humor, and articulation skills to have figured out what is needed in criminal justice and to make education work (both fields blend). He lays out the problems, and solution ideas, better than any proposal for progress that nominee Trump has come up with to date.

Hey, Trump. Why not. Education and Justice under Trevor Noah and the United States may begin to grow its democracy again, if that is indeed your goal.  As it is, we see your current nominees fostering the demise of democracy -- even its failure, in favor of entrenching the elite. Meanwhile, the autocrats, oligarchs, kleptocrats,  those whose control we used to deride in Russia, succeed here as well. Our people (your people) are taking a page out of the Russian playbook.  Can we get back to our own roots.
  • No! comes the voice from offstage right. Your so-called roots don't count. You didn't get your turn at bat before because we hid the bat; but now we get it all, so sit down.

Did we say the issues of Trevor Noah's life are universals?

Yet he can deal with them without making enemies.  Begin reading his memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/books/review-born-a-crime-trevor-noahs-raw-account-of-life-under-apartheid.html?_r=0. Find a brilliant organization:   a) A serious overview, in one form of typeface throughout; that  b) precedes each chapter's memoir section related to it, and in another typeface throughout.

To read the history-informational-philosophy sections first:
  • The contents list the chapter headings, so go to the immediately preceding pages for the short course in issues first. The overview may offers history, differences between ethnic and racial groups in South Africa; or the differing townships, and who lives there; or insights into a parent's reasons for behavior, as in how the child is raised; and why actions are taken to instill what life-lessons.
  • For your own short course, go to the the introduction to the jail episode: what jail is like, that precedes Chapter 17 -- the chapter about Trevor Noah ending up there, and why, and what happened and what he learned. Hooked, go on to Chapter 18, about his mother's life.
2.  Reject Betsy DeVos.

Betsy DeVos. Did we say no loudly enough? That Trevor-Noah perspective of experience, wisdom, ability to articulate, all foster a working-together ability to see many sides to issues. This is lacking in the billionaire-blinders-wearing ideological candidate for Education Secretary now: a Betsy DeVos.

DeVos?  Of Vos?  From Vos? Why the capital V?  De Vos is middle Dutch for "the fox" -- a nickname, say, for someone with red hair; or a "crafty man." See Everyman's experts at http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=devossomebody hammed that up but good.  Apt.

This fox's adulation of unregulated capitalism, totally free market, is a ticket to ongoing exploitation. As Trevor Noah says, it's fine to say we'll teach people to fish, but not if we withhold access to the poles. 

3.  Why? America -- is it failing as a democracy, while Russia's unmitigated oligarch succeed?  That kind of observation about Russia and the United States is by Karen Dawisha, author of Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia (2014), library copy on request, see review at  https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/books/review/putins-kleptocracy-by-karen-dawisha.html.

Dawisha sees an authoritarian government there in process of succeeding, and a democratic one here in process of failing. Is that so.

  • Learn about the larger issue: undue influence unrestrained, patterns. See a documentary Putin biographical video 2016 with stated agenda of concern, and basic information:  This is the government Trump and his nominees want to perpetuate: Average Russian is poorer than the average (India) Indian. So there is deprivation, for those not at the top. Who is at the top? Only 110 people own 35% of the wealth. What does that kind of disparity breed: more resentment, more need for force?  See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E06j7azz0AM.
These choices are important to whether we pursue exploitation as the goal; or a mutual prosperity. No, say the voices. If people live sustainable lives, they may compete with us.  Can't have that, is that so? 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Trump status. Time to call off the marriage. Betrothal is only a contract. Break it any time.

Break this contract. Please, pleads the bride-to-be.
Betrothal to the electorate:  Leave it.

Russia would agree that the present pre-political-marriage status of This Mr. T to the US electorate is not sacramentally complete, and unconsummated, of course.  There has only been a betrothal contract that can be broken off.  Historically, such an arrangement, as interim, can be cancelled.  Make the injured party whole again, and money u$ually work$ to $alve hurt feeling$.  See "Modern Customs and Ancient Laws of Russia," The State of the Modern Russian Family, and Particularly that of the Joint or Household Community of Great Russia (modern as 1891, at  http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/kovalm.asp), This is Lecture II by historian Maxime Kovalevsky at http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/koval2.asp, see bio.

This business of breaking (or unilaterally modifying contracts) can be a way to get rich, so there should be little resistance. See Contents at How to Get Rich, by Donald Trump and Meredith McIver, 2004. Just say, Donald, we tried, we really did, but you are the wrong man for this marriage. As you say in the book:  Big mistake is to marry the wrong person. And, don't equivocate.

The people have long had their say in how to manage these long-term relationship matters, often in addition to the rule-makers, usually a church whose approval has long not been needed for common or other types of civil marriage. Let the people speak and either call this one quits, or renegotiate the contract more to their advantage. This Mr. T who generates so much enthusiasm has already violated the Logan Act, see also https://www.law.cornell.edu/topn/logan_act_foreign_relations; and there must be punishment.  Of course.  So, this Mr. T must do what is required to walk those missteps back; and otherwise MHOB until oath is over, if he persuades the regretting electorate to stick with him. Why the premature and off-base request for how women are faring in the rights department, see http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2016/12/23/Trump-team-seeks-info-from-State-Dept-on-womens-rights-efforts/7321482475347/ Women's lives matter.

Best course for the long term: Let the people break off this ill-entered-into engagement to Mr. Trump before he fully ripens. Reconvene the Electors, unshackled. Or just write in the runner-up. After all, this is only a contract and contracts are made to be broken to get a better deal, and there will be someone else, fear not those who muddy waters, etc.

We know that, dear. Go ahead. Find another life. You'll forget him. This Mr. T hasn't even earned a title yet. He is just the presumptuous Mr. Trump.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Leak. GOP to rename DC. Contact Mitch in support.

 The Renaming in the Wings. Eight Talking Points.

1. The GOP plans to rename the postal service abbreviation for the District of Columbia.

2.  This is part of the first-100-day push of the new Administration.  New legislation effectuating the rename is based on the GOP objecting to the postal service. The postal service abbreviates District of lColumbia as DC.

3.  The abbreviation DC is objectionable to the GOP because DC resembles the common nickname for a routine internal medical maintenance procedure, dilation and curettage (sounds like ballet, a pas de deux perhaps), or D&C. See http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dilation-and-curettage/home/ovc-20259331

4.  The D&C is also known colloquially as a Dusting and Cleaning.

5.  The D&C also happens to be a simple and safe means for abortion, where that may be an issue.

6.. In order to avoid obliterating the postal service (that is set for 2017), the GOP is planning to rename the District of Columbia.

7.  To avoid promoting abortion, the GOP will rename the District of Columbia to new name: Gentrified Overseers' Plantation. GOP.

The postal service is grateful for the reprieve. GOP. Acronym for the Gentrified Overseers' Plantation. Get it? Fine with the postal service.

8.  Use it. Write to Mitch McConnell in support at 317 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington GOP 20150. See phone, email and fax at http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/

Trompe News Services.