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News Update on Ivana Trump's untimely death, the Trump Insurrection Hearings, the Supreme Court overturns women's right to choose & an NYS Gun Law

Aug 01, 2022 at 06:41 pm by mikewood

nyc ivana trumps unexpected death russian oligarchs live on the same block as ivana trump donald trump insurrection hearingss de blasio drops out of congressional race supreme court overturns precedent on abortion and guns wages jobs inflation covid resurgence nyc

Easing into the Curve - Summer Nears Half Way Mark

NYC is in Full Summer Swing & While Not Back to Full Strength, We're Nearing it ...

July 26, 2022 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Things To Do Events / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

We've mostly been trying to stay abreast of all the summer events this past month. Event schedules changed, some schedules have been reduced, and some venues have closed or remain on hiatus. But by and large, most venues are back up and running on some kind of level, while trying to protect the health and safety of their associates as well as the general public vis a vis CoVid.

So as we remained focused on staying abreast of the many summer events easily accessible to most of the denizens of NYC and NYS, we did not take our eye off of the more serious issues swirling around us. The following is a list of events we've been monitoring and researching along the way, which we intend to delve into in the coming weeks, and perhaps months.


Untimely Death: Two Russian Oligarchs Live on Ivana Trump's Block

I have a few unanswered questions regarding Ivana Trump's sudden, unexpected, accidental death.

Ivana Trump lived in a building in Manhattan on the Upper East Side in which Donald Trump reportedly still owns a total of five units. It just so happens that Ivana's residence is also on a block where two Russian Oligarchs own large residences, and for a time, where the divorced wife of a third Oligarch, lived. The wife of the third Oligarch is Dasha Zhukova who was married to Roman Abramovich. Zhukova became fast friends with Ivanka Trump, after being introduced by Wendi Deng, the former wife of Rupert Murdoch [Fox News / WSJ / NY Post] sometime around 2007.

The Russian Oligarchs who own residences on the same block where Ivana Trump lived, are Oleg Deripaska and Len Blavatnik. Deripaska's residence is just across the street from Ivana's residence, which if he were to be a spy, would be an ideal a location. Dasha Zhukova [the former wife of Abramovich] lived in Deripaska's residence in 2018, apparently departing from that residence sometime before September 2019.

Zhukova moved ten blocks north of Ivana's block into a large four townhouse development upon which Zhukova's former husband, Roman Abramovich was working. According to a March 12, 2022 report in the Mercury News, Abramovich transferred the real estate, valued at $92 million, to Zhukova in 2018. In 2022 the Russian Oligarch sanctions hit, and now there's a question of whether transferred wealth to relatives [like former wife Zhukova] should also be sanctioned.

According to a March 17, 2022 report in the New Yorker, "... [Russian Opposition Leader Alexei] Navalny has described Abramovich as “one of the key enablers and beneficiaries of Russian kleptocracy...”. Abramovich is considered one of Putin's most trusted Oligarchs, having survived Putin's Oligarch purge after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's fall.

Abramovich must be an incredibly skillful manipulator - not just of Putin - but Abramovich was also the only Russian Oligarch who Ukrainian President Zelensky asked the U.S. not to sanction. Zelensky claimed it was in order to unencumber Abramovich to broker a Russian / Ukrainian peace deal in Turkey [see link below for further details]. The pact never even came close to happening. Separately, the two nations recently cut a deal to allow free passage of food through the Black Sea and Bosporous Straits, which less than 24 hours later Putin 'honored' by bombing the Ukrainian port of Odessa, from which the Ukrainian food is to be shipped.

The deal providing two of the world's largest food producers [Russia & Ukraine] safe passage of food through the Black Sea and the Bosporous Straits was brokered - not by the Russian kleptocrat Abramovich - but by the UN and Turkey. The Bosporous Straits is a Black Sea bottleneck, which is controlled by NATO ally Turkey, per an international agreement made decades ago.

See the Russian Ukrainian War report series for more about how Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky invited Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich to help broker a peace deal.

Back to Ivana's Trump's residence and her sudden, unexpected and accidental death. So Ivana's daughter, Ivanka Trump, became quite friendly with Abramovich's former wife, Dasha Zhukova. They became such good friends that they began interacting socially at very public events well over a decade ago. The first social event I found documented was in 2014 when Zhukova reportedly invited Ivanka and Jared to a fundraiser organized by her husband, Roman Abramovich, for a Jewish Museum he founded in Moscow. In 2016, as Donald Trump was running for President, Ivanka, Wendi Deng and Zhukova were also photographed at the the U.S. Open in Queens. And in 2017 Dasha Zhukova was reportedly invited to the Trump Inauguration weekend celebrations. Apparently there have been many other interactions, in between those public appearances and since, including some Abramovich investments placed in Jared Kushner's brother's [Josh] company.

My point in all of this, is that the Russians could have had social access to Ivana Trump's residence and / or were in a position to have access to Ivana Trump's residence via more nefarious means. Given Trump owned so many units in the building, and probably owns the building management company, a lot of the independent context surrounding Ivana's death would be hard to obtain by the authorities without strong cause. I heard nothing about any review of any building video footage on the property itself, nor from the surrounding buildings. After the funeral, Ivana's body was subsequently delivered to a Trump golf course in New Jersey, which is private property, owned by Donald Trump.

The details of Ivana Trump's autopsy were scant. The reporting of them had an uncertain quality to them. None of the reports indicated who called in the death. Not by name, not by association and not by any role. I find that odd. The first cited cause of death was "cardiac arrest" and then later the cause of death was said to be from 'blunt' injuries suffered in the fall. Ivana Trump was an athlete, and only 73 years old, so falling down the stairs, and dying from the fall, while believable, is also unbelievable.

It's worth noting here, that accidental deaths are reportedly a Putin specialty. A Russian media baron, Boris Berezovsky, who was on the outs with Putin, reportedly suddenly, unexpectedly and accidentally died in his own bathroom at the age of 67 in 2013. The police determined that the cause of death was "unexplained", but it was surmised that it could have been caused by chemical, biolgical or nuclear material.

The timing of Ivana's death, coincidentally worked in the Donald's favor, as the NYS Attorney General was about to follow through with depositions with the Trump children. Because of Ivana's death, all of the Trump children depositions were postponed by the NYS Attorney General. The Trump family funeral also provided an opportunity for Donald Trump to meet with his children without being asked any questions. I mention this because it's been suggested that Trump may have tried to tamper with a witness for the Congressional Hearings on the Trump Insurrection.

We know from Trump's campaigning in 2016, as well as from the January 6 Congressional Hearings of the Insurrection, that Donald Trump is not above encouraging others to do violence, when it serves his purposes. Ivana Trump reportedly kept contact with the Donald, even after their marriage ended, but the divorce was reportedly fairly hostile, although it also appeared that their relationship settled down, and might possibly have healed, over time.

Ivana and Ivanka Trump were reportedly close, as the only two women in that iteration of the Trump family. So, given the above as backdrop, what I found of particular interest, was the body language between the Donald, and Ivanka and Jared, at Ivana's funeral. They did not look each other in the eye, and Ivanka and Jared seemed to flee the rest of the family immediately after the funeral. Given the many funerals I've attended, that didn't strike me as normal.

These are just some unasked and unanswered questions that came to mind while I watched the Trumps mourn one of their own. I suspect neither Trump nor Putin will let up with their shenanigans, because right now both of them are losing, and by the time the 2024 election rolls around, both of them might become desperate. Stay tuned.

The Trump Insurrection Hearings & The Donald's Legacy

I've tuned into all eight of the Congressional Insurrection Hearings in some manner or another. Generally I've been surprised at how bipartisan the hearings have been. By that I mean that while the committee panel is populated primarily with Democrats, the majority of witnesses have been Republicans working at the federal, state and local levels.

The Committee has also conducted itself in a very professional and straight forward manner. Every day the lack of intelligence and insight inherent in Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's decision to try to torpedo the committee, by forbidding Republicans from joining it, becomes more clear. McCarthy was mostly successful in discouraging Republicans from joining the committee [what does that say about Congressional Republicans?], but there were a couple of rebels - Adam Kinzinger (Republican Illinois) and Elizabeth Cheney (Republican Wyoming) - both of whom joined the committee at great political and physical risk to themselves. That says a lot about Kinzinger and Cheney and as I watched them on TV, committing what appeared to be political suicide, President Kennedy's book, Profiles in Courage, came to mind.

Both Kinzinger and Cheney have made very insightful speeches about how important these hearings are, if 'We The People' are to retain our grip on those elected - to serve us - not themselves. And they have reinforced the principle that each generation has a responsibility in ensuring that the checks and balances built into the American system of government are maintained, so that America may continue to function as a free, democratic nation.

We will likely publish something on these hearings as we near the 2022 Fall elections, which will likely be more useful for those who have not tuned into the hearings themselves, but we never know what new things we will find while preparing our reports.


De Blasio Drops Out of Race / Tuesday, August 23, 2022 is a 2nd NYS Primary Election Day

This past week, former Mayor de Blasio dropped out of the 10th District Congressional race. The newly drafted district was drawn up after a successful court challenge to the Democrats' partisan drafted boundaries. The challenge and redrafting of the district boundaries delayed those elections affected by the boundaries, which include U.S. Congressional seats and NYS Senate seats. So we have a second primary election day, which is Tuesday, August 23, 2022.

De Blasio dropped out of the 10th District Congressional race because of his poor showing in the polls. What none of the corporate mass media mentioned, is that the former Mayor had been continually blasted with negative front page publicity by the half of NYC media controlled by Australian born Billionaire Oligarch Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch's media brands: 1) hyped up unfounded allegations against the former Mayor, 2) distorted and amplified negative narratives about NYC government operations, 3) continually attacked the former Mayor with a near constant barrage of nitpicking and 4) ensured that Murdoch media audiences - which unfortunately is half of NYC - were kept in the dark regarding former Mayor de Blasio's key successes and achievements.

Rupert Murdoch successfully lurks in the shadows, away from public view, by hiding behind the American media brands he purchased and now controls. He's especially careful to contain the perception that he exerts a huge, unchecked and abusive influence over the electorates' perception of things. Most New Yorkers have no idea that the Australian born press lord presently controls about half of the daily corporate news media in NYC [and the nation] including: 1) Fox News / Channel 5, 2) WWOR / Channel 9, 3) the NY Post, 4) the Wall St. Journal and appears to have become the most influential shareholder of 5) Disney ABC / Channel 7.

We will continue to cover Murdoch's manipulative use of his mass media outlets, with the hope that by documenting his abuses, some of the people who trust his media outlets will, in time, wake up to his abuse of their trust.


The Supreme Court Ignores a 49 Year Old Legal Precedent Established Previously at the Supreme Court

The first event is the Supreme Court ruling which ignored a nearly 50 year precedent declaring a woman's right to choose early pregnancy cessations. The Court essentially struck down the Roe vs Wade decision of 1973, and confiscated a women's right to determine when and if they want to have a baby, leaving it to state politicians to decide.

While some of their arguments about how the original Supreme Court decision was made were logically reasoned, they fell short on their main thesis, upon which Roe v. Wade rested, which is that women have a right to equal enforcement and due process with respect to the law per the 14th Amendment. Section I. of the 14th Amendment states,

"... All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws..."

Lord only knows, that forcing someone to be a mother of a child she does not want, can't end well for the mother, likely won't end well for the baby, and ultimately isn't likely to end well for the rest of society. So the Supreme Court has proven beyond a reasonable doubt, that they are anything but wise. We'll have more on this ruling and the legal arguments ignored by the court and the corporate run mass media, later this summer.


The Supreme Court Rules on Americans' Right to Carry Guns Whenever & Whereever

Then there's the issue of law and order and guns. This year the nation has witnessed a record breaking number of mass murders, many of which are done with assault weapons. Assault weapons are generally used in war, by vicious gangsters, or by mass murderers. It's worth noting that automatic assault weapons hadn't yet been invented when the Constitution was drafted and provided citizens with the right to bear arms. While citizens have a right to bear arms, what arms citizens have a right to bear and where, has been regulated throughout the nation's history.

This Supreme Court rolled back longstanding legal precedents in New York State, which limited one's right to carry a gun outside of the home without providing state government officials [regulatory / law enforcement] with a good reason [like hunting or self defense]. The court ruled that NY state didn't have the right to limit a citizen's right to carry a weapon outside of their home based on the current processes. This takes away some significant lethal weapon restraint capability by state and municipal law enforcement, at a time when gun manufacturers have blanketed the nation with lethal weapons. This ruling includes assault weapons, enough of which are getting into the wrong hands, and fueling the record number of mass murders in this country this year.

Automatic weapons were banned back in the days of Al Capone, in order to stop the violence by gangsters, who at the time had more firepower than the police. This was implemented in the 1934 National Firearms Act. The impact of the law - which imposed criminal, regulatory and tax requirements on such weapons - effectively killed the sales of these automatic weapons. Congress officially banned the automatic weapons in 1986, and in 1994 Congress passed the Assault Weapons Ban which had a sunset clause [means the law expires] ten years later in 1994. The ban was not renewed by Congress in 1994 because the NRA / gun lobby and Republicans effectively resisted its renewal.

To NYS and U.S. legislators I recommend reviewing that last paragraph, for some ideas on how to work around the Supreme Court ruling. You have the right to tax commerce, pass criminal laws and regulate commerce. Use these legislative tools. We'll have more on this later this summer or sometime in the fall. Unlike the Roe v Wade Ruling, and even though I am concerned with what is likely to be the collateral damage of the SCOTUS ruling, I found myself able to follow their logic and understand the basis of their decision.


CoVid Resurgence via the New Dominant Variant BA 5 & Monkey Pox

CoVid is like a bad guest, who just won't leave. New cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all up again and it's summer time. The reason is that CoVid continues to spread and morph and evolve around the world as most of the planet remains unvaccinated. The good news is that vaccinations in the U.S. keep rising, so that at present 67% of the nation has been fully vaccinated [I don't think that includes the boosters]. So on average, two of the three people you encounter are vaccinated.

So while vaccinations protect most folks from death and hospitalizations, they no longer provide immunity from catching CoVid. The same is true after one catches CoVid. While normally one would be protected by the antibodies manufactured by one's body - because of the multitude of CoVid variants now out there - this immunity guideline doesn't apply to CoVid. We'll have more about this and monkey pox in the coming weeks.


A Look at the Long Term Societal Impact of CoVid

The global pandemic radically alterred our daily lives for two full years beginning in 2020, continuing into 2021 and spilling over into 2022. This year [2022] however, appears to be something of a transformative year, as we have all generally returned to more normal levels of activity. But collectively we're still not back up to pre-pandemic levels of activity, and it's unclear if we'll return there.

We'll provide an update on how things have changed both at home and at work. We might even take a stab at trying to predict the future.


Putin, Likely a War Criminal, Pushes the War in Ukraine

We'll have an update on the War in the Ukraine as well. We hope some changes may be imminent.


A Look at the U.S. Economy, Continued Jobs Growth & Inflation

We're going to provide an update on our assessment of the economy, which is more favorable than many others. We'll provide the reasons why.


And Last - but not Least - Climate Change

I've been researching the issue of climate change for more than half a decade. Naturally, my findings are voluminous and it will take quite a long time to process them. A full report is not expected by the end of the summer, and likely not even by the end of the year. I am hoping sometime in 2023 we can publish a report series investigating where we're at with climate change, what we've done both bad and good, and what we need to do if we don't want planet Earth - what was essentially a natural paradise - to go up in flames.

Here again Rupert Murdoch's huge influence over how the news is presented, makes a significant and societally harmful difference. I say this because most folks don't know that Rupert Murdoch has had ties - both financial and social - to the Saudi Royal Family [of fossil fuel fame] for decades. Those financial and social ties appear to affect how Murdoch's national mass media outlets present the news vis a vis climate change, particularly regarding the role fossil fuels play in accelerating climate change. We'll have more on this later in the summer / year, with hopefully a full report series in 2023.