January 31, 2023

I found Trump in Medieval painting of legal Hell

  I found Trump in Medieval painting of legal Hell
By Hal Brown

Okay, that's a lie. I added a stylized version of Trump (made by using BeFunky) putting him in Hell, legal Hell. Above is a detail of a detail from a fresco in the medieval church of St Nicholas in Raduil, Bulgaria which is part of the Wikipedia entry on Hell.

I noticed that in the upper left corner of this painting the Scales of Justice were drawn. They are being held by a hand coming out of the clouds. Presumably this is the Hand of God. Also coming out of the cloud, I think it represents Heaven, is a flume of fire with a dark demon, perhaps meant to be the Devil himself, which would fit with God casting him out of Heaven.

Of all the paintings of Hell I could find online this was the only one with the Scales of Justice even though Hell is where people who break the law in egregious ways are supposed to go.

I was inspired to look for a depiction of Hell thinking I might blog about this article from Raw Story this morning:

There's no sense to bullet point the tally here, but to be reminded you can just glance at the article or click below to enlarge the photos I took when "Morning Joe" re-aired the segment this morning:

Mika, after describing all the legal jeopardy and entanglements facing Trump, concludes with a  personal message to Trump who, it has been reported, sometimes watches the show: 

"That's a lot of law stuff happening there, Donald, just something to think about."
... and this:

the goodies keep coming...
Did I mention that if Stormy in the leak in the Trump ship that starts to sink him it would be poetic justice?
Raw Story is getting very raw for The Donald:
I mean, really raw:
This is getting repetitious:
The more stress Trump is under the more likely he will make mistakes...
This is cray-cray... supper time but juts on last article:
The trout was delicious. Thank you Fred Meyers.One last look before bedtime:

Okay, closing out the day, here's a tweet from Stormy Daniels. Note that 
Trump infamously referred to Daniels as "horse face" after her allegations against him became public, to which Daniels responded by mocking the size of Trump's genitalia.

For your entertainment, The King: Jailhouse Rock:

By chance there are two definitions of the word don (among a few others) which are applicable here. One is the proper name which is short for Donald and the other lower case is what the head of a Mafia family is called. 

For decades Trump's Teflon has been like a coating of incredibly slippery mercury, his version was gold rather than silver colored, but just as difficult to hold onto as the real chemical element which is used in thermometers and other devices. It also happens to be poisonous.

As all this is happening we have the extraordinary case of the former FBI agent Charles McGonigal who had been in charge of the New York City office who was arrested for being basically a Russian spy. As this case moves forward we may find that Trump's fake Russian conspiracy was a more successful Russian espionage case of an American double agent than that involving Aldridge Ames.

Here a some images that I put together to illustrate previous blogs. The following could end up to be more than fantasies:

January 30, 2023

Ron DeSanctimonious may be Trump's best insult yet

 Ron DeSanctimonious may be Trump's best insult yet
By Hal Brown

Trump is known for coining insults to use to against his enemies. He often tries them out at his rallies to gauge audience response. Most of them are juvenile, although the mental midgets at his rallies will cheer anything. He may have applause meters to see which one's are the best.

Only kidding. He'd doesn't need an electronic gadget to discern which insulting appellations elicit the loudest and most energetic cheers and of course boos from his audience. For Trump, the louder the better. 

Today Trump referred to Ron DeSantis as Ron Desantimonious as he has been doing for several months. This got me to thinking that to give begrudging credit where it is due, this a damn good insult.

This is from 

Trump attacks “globalist” Ron DeSantis over COVID response in late-night Truth Social meltdown




EXCERPT: Trump lashed out at the group and DeSantis in a Truth Social post shortly before 1 am on Monday.

"The Club for No Growth is a GLOBALIST group that I have been taking to the cleaners for years," Trump wrote, adding that "Ron DeSanctimonious, who I made Governor in BOTH the Primary & the General, is also a Globalist, & so are his donors."

"Jeb 'Low Energy' Bush was next to him last week," Trump wrote, referring to his old 2016 GOP primary foe. "Check PAST!"

The name he is called Ron DeSantis may be his best yet. True, Trump throwing the term "globalist" in there is a distraction since most of his cult members don't know it means a person who advocates the interpretation or planning of economic and foreign policy in relation to events and developments throughout the world. They do know it's "bad" and believe it's anti-American.

Trump posted this on Truth Social

The Club For No Growth is a GLOBALIST group that I have been taking to the cleaners for years. We worked together for a period, but they couldn’t get away from China, Europe, Asia, and part’s unknown. They know I won’t play that game, I am America First all the way. That’s the ONLY way we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. Ron DeSanctimonious, who I made Governor in BOTH the Primary & the General, is also a Globalist, & so are his donors. Jeb “Low Energy” Bush was next to him last week. Check PAST!

Trump  writes "I am America First all the way." He could have come up with a new insult with the opposite of Make America First, that is Make America Last, and called these enemies "make America lasters" - I sure hope he never uses that since I don't want to think I may have provided him with an effective insult.

Back to the insult of the day:

This is from a web search of the name Ron Desantimonious:

There were mixed reviews for this name, for example (red arrow) NY Magazine called it low energy. This being said, his merely trying out this nickname got himself a lot of publicity.

For example Fox News:

I think this is actually one of, if not his more effective insulting nicknames for someone he thinks is an enemy. While not a word many, if most, of Trump's screamers and booers could define exactly, i.e., someone who makes a show of being morally superior to other people, they could tell you that it means someone who was obnoxious and acts superior.

Trump acts like he has the biggest brain and is superior to everyone but members of his cult believe he has every right to do so because all this is true. They never find him obnoxious.

What counts here is that, first, it is a "big word" showing how smart Trump is for using it, and equally important, it fits well enough with Ron DeSantis to make it resonate. It's almost but not quite a rhyme. 

The website The Focus took a deep dive into Trump's using this nickname.


As soon as Donald Trump uttered the two words “Ron DeSanctimonious,” the nickname took over Twitter. In fact, on October 25, a Twitter user speculated over what nickname Trump would give Ron DeSantis, receiving more than 1,000 likes and hundreds of responses in the comments.

CNN senior commentator David Axelrod tweeted Trump’s play on words was “Kind of brilliant.”

Alex Salvi from Newsmax disagreed, writing: “Former Pres. Trump refers to Florida Gov. DeSantis as “Ron Desanctimonious.” Probably not the united messaging the GOP wants three days before the midterm elections. 

I wouldn't be surprised if Trump is the only person to have a Wikipedia page devoted just to the nicknames he has used to insult and describe people.

In scanning the list the only one that I think comes close to Ron Desantimonious is Sleepy Joe. While it is hardly clever it does play to his base effectively as depicting President Biden as someone persistently dozing off because he's too old and lacking in the energy needed to be president as opposed to Trump, the young and vital energetic macho-man he likes to portray himself as. At present DeSantis is Trump's biggest rival for the nomination. Should he run against Biden I think he'll have to do better than "Sleepy Joe" to insult him. I have a few ideas but I am not about to share them.

Trump used the word "little" (or "Liddle' " for Adam Schiff) 23 times as insults. These include Little Marco and Little Rocket Man (for Kim Jon Un). The later is probably the best of his "little" insults since it is used with "rocket man." Otherwise he's just making fun of someone's height. Of course he never called the 5' 7" Putin Little Vlad.

Below, read more with links to articles about Trump calling DeSantis Ron DeSantimonius:

January 29, 2023

Do we need another Pearl Harbor for some Americans to realize that we're at war with Russia?

 Do we need another Pearl Harbor for some Americans to realize that we're at war with Russia?
By Hal Brown

There shouldn't even be a need for an editorial coming from the editorial board of The Washington Post titled 

How to keep the West solid for Ukraine

It shouldn't be necessary to publish the following:

There will be tests on both sides of the Atlantic. President Biden will need to continue to make a forceful case for an ongoing commitment to defeat Russian aggression. He would be smart to direct that message to a broader international audience — in the Global South especially, where popular opinion could be mobilized against a conflict strikingly akin to an imperial war against a former colony.

Leadership will also be key on Capitol Hill. Last year, liberal Democrats wrote, then retracted, a letter urging Mr. Biden to nudge Ukraine toward negotiation that would likely mean giving up its sovereign territory. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), now the Republican House speaker, said there could be “no blank check” for Ukraine before quickly retreating, saying he meant that Ukraine should be accountable for the U.S. aid it receives. Members of Congress might bear in mind that mixed messaging from Washington will only hearten Russia’s sympathizers in Europe, who will exploit it to undercut support for Ukraine.

Remember the Domino Theory?  It posited that increases or decreases in democracy in one country tend to spread to neighboring countries in a domino effect. It was prominent in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s in the context of the Cold War, suggesting that if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow. (Wikipedia)

Now instead of a Cold War with Russia we have a hot, a very hot, war between Russia and a democratic country. Communism is irrelevant in this. Anyone who knows the definition of communism understands that Russia isn't a communist country. It is a dictator run aggressor. 

The notion of a line of dominos falling down, the first knocking down the second, the second the third, and so on doesn't apply to what would literally happen if Russia defeated Ukraine and made it into a Russian province. Russia isn't about to attack another country if Russia takes over Ukraine. 

If this came to pass NATO, if anything, would become a more formidable alliance. Nonetheless Russia, although beset with years of fighting a highly motivated underground resistance, would be strengthened economically if they won. Ukraine has been called the breadbasket of Europe and in fact their wheat and corn is a major international provider of food.

Some pundits have predicted that a Russian win in Ukraine would embolden China to attack Taiwan.  I am hardly a geopolitical expert, but I think China's decision about how they deal with Taiwan is a computation with many elements of which the Ukraine war is only one of many.

What I do think is the most important issue regarding Ukraine as far as the United States goes is how many Americans, and Republicans in Congress, are so concerned with getting revenge against Democrats for what they did when they controlled the House and winning the War against Woke.

Come on!

The War Against Woke! 

That this is actually a "thing" is pathetically absurd. Considering that there is a real war, a war where people aren't being brainwashed (as they see it) but are actually dying this is unconscionable. This is a war between a member of the community of democratic nations and a dictatorship which invaded a neighboring country for territorial gain based on the outright lie that it was run by modern day NAZI's. 

What has to happen for Ukraine to become another nation-waking explosion on the level of Pearl Harbor? 

Pearl Harbor has was  referred to in a movie by Japanese Admiral Yamamoto as an attack that woke up a sleeping giant.

Whether he really said it or not is irrelevant because it happened.

The only thing that I think Russia could do on the level of Pearl Harbor is to use some kind of tactical nuclear weapon. If Putin tries to authorize this he risks a military coup, and if such an attack is carried out the retaliation, while I very much doubt it would be nuclear, would be massive. I am sure that the Western military alliance has contingency plans for a retaliation which would once and for all turn the tide of the war against Russia.

This must not happen because a desperate and mentally unbalanced Putin could escalate by attacking a NATO nation. This would basically start World War III.

America has it's own collaborators.

People like Marjorie Taylor Greene might as well be on the payroll of Vladimir Putin:

The same goes for Tucker Carlson:

If the United States was in a declared war with Russia these two and others of their ilk would be seen a collaborators with the enemy and could possibly be tried for treason.

January 28, 2023

Desperate for uplifting news, look for advances in medicine. Here's one about treating depression.

 Desperate for uplifting news, look for advances in medicine. Here's one about treating depression
By Hal Brown, MSW,
retired psychotherapist and mental health center director

The photo used in the article had a stone wall as a background. I changed it for an illustration used in another article for this blog.

Most, perhaps all, of the readers of my political stories, have to cope with varying levels of anxiety and depression over the future of our country. I don't have to spell out what we are afraid of. 

One article in the website NeuroscienceNews.com tells us what we already know:

When Chronic Stress Activates These Neurons, Behavioral Problems Like Loss of Pleasure and Depression Result

To use a non-scientific word, this is a bummer.

When there's another revelation that makes you want to scream in outrage or hide your head under a blanket, for just one example, this story from yesterday's HUFFPOST:

Right-Wing Media, Top Republican Team Up To Push Racist Conspiracy Theory About Ex-Biden Aide, if you look for them you will find inspiring news that has nothing to do with politics.

I've been writing about the pleasure in the misfortune of other, or schadenfreude, I feel when MAGA's like Trump, Taylor Greene, Devolder-Santos, and hapless Kevin McCarthy who has to sleep on the spiky mattress bed he's made for himself, and find they've stepped in either a bear-trap or a pile of shit.

There is perverse pleasure in following the misfortune of these despicable characters. The German word for this experience is schadenfreude. I've used this word in two recent blogs: More Schadenfreude: John Bolton, Trump, and DeSantis for President and  Santos leads the GOP in eliciting Schadenfreude, no doubt more to come.

There's all kinds of good news in addition to political news eliciting a feeling of schadenfreude. I follow news about advances in other kinds of science besides medicine. Our knowledge of psychics and the cosmos is increasing at a furious rate but while this often fascinates it doesn't directly effect my life or the lives of the people I care about.

It is what we are learning about medicine that affects each of us most directly. We all know about the advances which hopefully be coming within a year for developing better vaccines and treatments to fight against Covid, a disease those lucky enough not have had it know any day we could have a symptom that prompts us to take the test and discover we have been infected. 

Those of us who follow medical news closely know advances are being made treating or slowing the progress of demential and Alzheimer's. There are early promising clinical trials being started for cancer treatments.

The ailment that is the most closely related to politics is depression, often associated with anxiety. 

If someone already has clinical depression they could be living in the glory days of the Obama administration or JFK's Camelot and they'd still be depressed.
For someone who already struggles with depression dealing with the news about what the GOP is hellbent of turning the government and the country into causes anxiety. Anxiety is always stressful. It leads to worry and worry easily worsens existing clinical depression and for those not already clinically depressed it can be the cause of clinical depression.

There are a number of old treatments for depression that have proved effective including a number of anti-depressant medications, newer medications, and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. A treatment that has gained in popularity since it was introduced in 2008 is Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Studies show that almost 15 million Americans over the age of 18 suffer from severe depression. I don't have numbers for how many suffer from mild to moderate depression but even periods of mild depression can lead to a drastic change in how someone experiences their life.

Consider the dates on the following chart and note that happened in 2016 when Trump was elected:

Now for the good news that led me to write this.
You can say this isn't breaking news in that it comes from October, 2022. However, it is really new news because I haven't seen it reported in the mainstream media. It tells us that a promising avenue of research has been opened. It is also new news if it is new to you.

A Drug That Increases Dopamine Can Reverse the Effects of Inflammation on the Brain in Depression - Neuroscience News

The drug being studied for depression in Levodopa, often called L-DOPA. To say it has been around for a long time is an understatement. If you saw the Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro movie "Awakenings" (based on a 1970 book with the same name by Oliver Sacks) this was the drug used to "awaken" the patient played by DeNiro.

The drug was first studied in the 1950's. Two Nobel Prizes were awarded to the scientists who developed it. (Read more on Wiki)

There are lots of ways to deal with our anxiety and depression and the tole it takes on our quality of life. Recognizing that there is help available and not feeling stigma if you consider seeking it is certainly crucial. Since you're reading this blog you're not likely to be a macho MAGA asswipe who calls liberals who get counseling and therapy snowflakes

If liberals are snowflakes, or overly sensitive, the MAGA's who call them that are insensitive bullies throwing iceballs with rocks in them. (I remember one snowball fight at the school playground where some kids who thought they were tough guys put rocks in their snowballs.)

Dear fellow snowflakes, please be proud that you have feelings and empathy and all the other traits that make you a decent person. Take care of yourself. And when things are really looking dismal - whether from the world of politics to mass shootings to police violence, do what works for you to lessen your stress.

If taking a time out from the news words, do that. Take time to appreciate your family, nature, and indulge yourself in uplifting streaming video like one of our favorites, the Canadian series Heartland. Try something new that you've been putting off doing like joining a yoga group or exercising more. I'm lucky enough to have a pool where I live so I am trying to get into a swimming routine.

Try to remember that there are talented dedicated people, heroes really, who are working their damnedest to help us make our lives better. Those who come to mind most frequently make the news. 

While a few scientists like Dr. Fauci make the news there are countless researchers like those referenced in the article about L-DOPA who also are working tirelessly to benefit not only us, but humanity.

You can following breaking news in various areas in medicine by subscribing to or looking at Neuroscience News, Medscape, Psychiatric Times, and PLOS.

Some of these articles have technical titles like

Functional connectivity in reward circuitry and symptoms of anhedonia as therapeutic targets in depression with high inflammation: evidence from a dopamine challenge study. This may account for the reason that the mainstream media doesn't report on them. They may include terms like anhedonia which basically means reduced motivation, reduced anticipatory pleasure (wanting), reduced consummatory pleasure (liking).  This includes eating, touching a loved one, and engaging in sexual interactions. It happens to be the name of a movie.

January 27, 2023

Trump's secret plan for easily ending the war in Ukraine, Santos, and other schadenfreude tidbits

 Trump's secret plan for easily ending the war in Ukraine, Santos, and other schadenfreude tidbits
By Hal Brown

A link to this was in my email this morning:

Click above to read article
The article leads with these points:

  • Donald Trump appeared to criticize a decision by the US and Germany to provide tanks to Ukraine.
  • "FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES," Trump said on his social media platform.
  • Trump also suggested ending the war in Ukraine would be "easy," without elaborating.

    At first blush on reading this I wondered what easy plan the man with the biggest brain had for ending the war which he was withholding, perhaps figuring he could sell it to President Zelensky or his pal Putin or even the fake president, Joe Biden.

    Then it occurred to me. What a dummy I was. Of course the easy way to end the war would be for Ukraine to unconditionally surrender.

    This would no doubt make Marjorie Taylor Greene happy:
    Her tweet led to these replies:

    In case you read my blog about Greene's aspirations before I tweaked my original illustration which just depicted her inside of the presidential seal, here's the new improved photoshop.

    Back to Trump:

    I wrote a few days ago that Trump's having Truth Social is a gift to prosecutors. I wrote that Trump behaves like a child who has problems with impulse control who is having a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way. Once a tantrum starts there's a point of no return where the child, or adult in people like Trump, is no longer considering the negative consequences. 

    Trump can't restrain himself and perhaps with no-one around to vent to or make ridiculous self-aggrandizing claims to he takes to Truth Social where what he expresses can't be erased. From journalists tasked to monitor Truth Social to ordinary citizens there are many people making screen grabs of whatever he posts there.

    Here's an example. He posted this on Truth Social:

     “Does Coco Chow have anything to do with Joe Biden’s Classified Documents being sent and stored in Chinatown?” Trump wrote. “Her husband, the Old Broken Crow, is VERY close to Biden, the Democrats, and, of course, China.”


    Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao fired back at former President Donald Trump for his racist remarks about her — insisting his attacks reveal “a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans.” 

    Chao, 69 — who has frequently been referred to by the former president as “Coco Chow” — issued the rare rebuke on Tuesday.

    Yesterday's National Review article referencing Truth Social was just reported on again on Morning Joe:

    And then there's George, or whatever his name is:

    This offers a lot of schadenfreude: 

    Kevin McCarthy "stands by" George Santos: Now the MAGA caucus owns his lies

    The Republican Party's illicit affair with a con man has already gone south. But Kevin McCarthy can't let go

    It is unusual, if not unprecedented, for a freshman member of Congress to make the top of the Washington Post website the way Santos has.
    Here's another story from the Post:

    This is breaking news Friday evening - I did add something to the photo:

    I thought it was interesting that website of The New York Times (see image) didn't have a single article about Santos.

    I blogged about George Santos yesterday and by this morning couldn't keep up with the new revelations about him to add to that story.

    Click above to read article

    The Wiki entry, last edited in 2011, appears to match up with biographical information currently provided by Santos, including his birth date and being born to a Brazilian family with a European background, Politico reported Friday.

    It also claims “Devolder” acted in a movie starring Uma Thurman and appeared in the TV series “Hanna Montana,” an apparent misspelled reference to a Disney show that starred Miley Cyrus, noted The New York Post.

    Any appearances as a drag queen by Santos could cause a meltdown within the Republican Party, whose members have very specifically attacked drag performances as part of their anti-LGBTQ hate campaign.

    On Jan. 11th I wrote Santos leads the GOP in eliciting Schadenfreude, no doubt more to come. No doubt, indeed, here it is Jan. 27th and he has been a gift that keeps on giving me pleasure, or schadenfreude if you prefer: 

    Schadenfreude is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another. It is a borrowed word from German, with no direct translation, that originated in the 18th century. . Wikipedia

    There's more schadenfreude eliciting news. 

    While the report that John Eastman seems likely to get disbarred, and that Marjorie Taylor Greene had an amendment about releasing oil from the reserves defeated in the House 418 to 14

    The most promising pleasure I am hesitant to let reach the level of schadenfreude is the news reported here:

    Click above to read article

    Also read: 

    Bill Barr asked Italian officials to discredit Russia probe — they responded with evidence linking Trump to crimes

    I am hesitant to let myself feel too optimistic about this. It could lead once and for all to proving that the dots are clearly connected proving Putin attempted to get Trump reelected. Ideally we may learn that the attempt to prove that the there was no effort by Putin to influence the election could prove the very opposite.

    I just don't want to get my hopes up since Trump seems to have the most tenacious Teflon in the world. Not only that, whenever I indulge in schadenfreude in excess I come across articles like this: 

    The quiet takeover of the Tea Party: GOP establishment is now full MAGA

    Click above to read

    Meanwhile, the MAGA movement, under Trump, took up what was once the undercurrent of the Tea Party movement, the culture war, and brought it to center stage. No longer did anyone have to pretend that all they cared about was spending cuts. They could hate on immigrants and Black people and gays and liberals right out in the open and could do it in the crudest terms possible. Conspiracy theories were encouraged to flourish and loyalty to Trump was the only "issue" they needed to care about.

    This new Congress finally brings it all to the fore. It's all come together. The anti-tax, government-slashing extremists are one with the revolutionary MAGA culture warriors. Today Speaker Kevin McCarthy embraces Freedom Caucus member and MAGA heroine Marjorie Taylor Greene while Freedom Caucus founder and MAGA leader Jim Jordan leads a crusade to "take down the deep state" and Freedom Caucus member and MAGA superstar Matt Gaetz plots ways to destroy the economy if they don't get their way. They are all one. These former gadflies and bomb throwers are the establishment now. They are the Republican Party. The metamorphosis is finally complete.

    File these under semi-schadenfreude:

    Trump slapped down by judge in bid to avoid Jan. 6 Capitol cop trial

    McCarthy allies scrambling after leadership fight eroded his power: report


    I found Trump in Medieval painting of legal Hell

      I found Trump in Medieval painting of legal Hell By Hal Brown Okay, that's a lie. I added a stylized version of Trump (made by using B...