September 10, 2022

Eat your heart out Donald Trump, you'll never be king

By Hal Brown

Remember this:

Animated link to Twitter below:

If you do a Google Image search for Trump as king or emperor you'll find numerous photoshopped images, some better than others (though the DonkeyHotey drawing in the upper left below is one of the most republished). Click to enlarge.

Donald Trump is an inveterate television watcher so I assume today he'd be hard pressed to avoid all the coverage of the ceremonies making Charles the King. 

In addition to the very British pomp and circumstance he'll see interviews with normal, let me underline normal, people who love him instead of people who are pathologically unhinged and who would never ever be allowed as guests into any of the castles where he currently rules supreme.

Being King of Mar-a-Lago is hardly enough for the man who has redefined the definition of grandiose narcissism to an extreme that if he wasn't flesh, lots of flesh, and blood, clogged with cholesterol as it probably is, he'd be a cartoon character like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. 

He is only called President Trump as an honorific title probably by people interviewing him on right-wing media, or by those delusional people who think he's still president. 

In fact, my cursory research shows (Emily Post for example) that according to proper form he shouldn't even be called Mr. President. The correct form of address for a former president is to use the title of the highest post that he held before becoming president. unless they have a new position with another title.  

Whether Melania cares about what she is called in impossible to determine but she can never become a real Queen Consort as Camila will be. She was the Duchess of Cornwall so perhaps Melania can make herself the Duchess of Mar-a-Lago or something equally ridiculous. That is unless she buys into Donald wanting to be king and then I suppose she can insist she's referred to as Queen Consort Melania.

Detail from a painting showing
 Henry VIII on his 1520 expedition
 to France. 
 Royal Collection Trust
Back to Trump the wanna-be king: we can liken him to King Henry VIII. Let's compared the two...

While Trump never had his wives killed he did divorce two of them and cheated on his first wife, Ivana, with Marla Maples who became his second wife. 

He also isn't as fat at Henry XIII was, and he rides a golf cart rather than a horse. 

Consider this from the Grunge website:

No one remembers Henry VIII fondly. He murdered two of his six wives, divorced two more, lost one in childbirth, and died before he could murder the last one. When you ask pretty much anyone what Henry VIII was all about, they'll mostly just repeat some version of the above, because when you're a wife-killing, smelly egomaniac with zero redeeming qualities, it doesn't really matter what else you did in your life. People are going to remember you for being a wife-killing, smelly egomaniac with zero redeeming qualities. 

But Henry VIII was so much more than just those things. He was also greedy, paranoid, a hypocrite, a homophobe, a perpetual loser of wars, and gross. He was very, very gross. Did he have any actual, redeeming qualities? Not that we know of. If he did, they were overshadowed by all of the very bad things he did during his long, awful reign. What bad things? These bad things. Here's the horrible, messed up truth of Henry VIII.

Sound like Trump? There's more:

According to History, the court of Henry VIII was one of history's most opulent. Evidently, no one taught Henry the value of money when he was a child, because just one year after inheriting the throne at the age of 18, he blew most of the kingdom's annual revenue on Christmas parties. Yes, everyone loves an epic party, and plenty of modern people go into debt so that they can buy nice things for everyone on their holiday list, but imagine spending £13.5 million ($18 million) in a single year. Henry's holiday expenses included food, entertainment, and gifts.

That kind of excess continued throughout all of Henry's reign. In fact, he was so into parties that he expanded the kitchens of Hampton Court Palace so they filled 55 rooms. Banquets frequently served up to 14 courses to 600 people and included dishes like grilled beaver tails, whole roasted peacock, and boar's head. So you could say Henry ate his kingdom's fortune, and that would actually be close to accurate.

I wonder if the God-king's swooning sycophants think it should be their deity being officially made King of England today. More to the point, I wonder what King Tut of Trump Tower is thinking today.

You can make comments by scrolling down the the bottom of the page.

Here's some:

I am trying to promoted my stories which now only appear on this blog since I have been banned for life from putting them on Daily Kos.  You can read my take on why this happened here. At a minimum these stories for about 80 reads but a few between one and two thousand. Typically they had 10-30 or so comments but a few got over 200.

You can read all of the 1,700 plus stories except the one that got me booted off the site without explanation here. Because I didn't save it I had to recreate the gist of it from memory in my blog story about what happened.

Below are screen images of the most recent series of stories (click to enlarge and go to this link to read any of them):

Anything you can do to share my blog with your friends will prompt my gratitude. 

I am also putting links to my stories on Twitter here, on Instagram here, on my Facebook page here, and on the private Duty to Warn Facebook group started by Dr. John Gartner which I encourage you to join.

Digby, Dana, and Rick, my favorite columnists

My two favorite columnists are Dana Milbank and Heather "Digby" Parton, and runner up Rick Wilson. The later is known by her fans simply as Digby. After his most recent column I could nickname Milbank as Dana the Divinely inspired.

Above: Dana Milbank (left) and Heather "Digby" Parton

Heather "Digby" Parton who writes columns several times a week for Salon and publishes on her blog, Hullaballoo, and Dana Milbank who writes a regular column for The Washington Post, are my two favorite  columnists.

Unfortunately you need a subscription to the Post to read Dana's columns. This is his most recent column:

Dana, speaking for God, country, and I suppose you might as well throw in an apple pie a la mode... 

... begins this column this way:

And, lo, it shall come to pass, on the eighth day of the eleventh month of the Year of our Lord 2022, that Our Heavenly Father shall gather the inhabitants of His Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, from the Sacred City of Filial Love to His Earthly Paradise on the Monongahela, and from all other dwelling places therein; and He shall say, “Riseth up ye and goeth to the polling places; and therein casteth ye thy ballots in such manner that the Heavenly Host doth thunder, ‘Yea, Doug Mastriano, assuredly and verily thou art a cuckoo bird.’ ”— the Gospel according to nobody in particular

He concludes:

Will the good people of Pennsylvania succumb to conspiracy lunacy masquerading as scripture? Or will they, and voters everywhere, decide that this is just one more sign that the false prophets of MAGA have gone entirely too far?

God willing, voters will know them by their fruits. 

His Washington Post column tops their Opinions section above the conservative columnist Hugh Hewitt who is also a Fox News regular. I never gift Hewitt with a click. You can see his Wikipedia profile here and compare it to Milbank's profile here where you can see that Milbank is no stranger to experiencing the consequences of pushing the limits of snarky satire. For example from Wikipedia: Milbank and Chris Cillizza appeared in a series of humor videos called "Mouthpiece Theater" which appeared on The Washington Post's website. An outcry followed a video in which, during a discussion of the White House "Beer Summit", they chose new brands for a number of people, including "Mad Bitch Beer" for Hillary Clinton. Both men apologized for the video and the series was canceled.

The brief Post profile describes Dana as sketching the foolish, the fallacious, and the felonious in politics. Here's his Twitter page.

Then there's Digby. Her Salon columns, fortunately, you can read here without a subscription. These, as of this posting, are her three most recent ones:

This is Digby's Twitter page.

To say Digby is as prolific as she is clever is an understatement. On her blog Digby's Hullaballoo she and colleague Tom Sullivan (he is a North Carolina-based writer who posts at Hullabaloo and Scrutiny Hooligans and a former columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times. His posts have appeared at Crooks and Liars, Campaign for America's Future,, AlterNet, and Between them they post several stories every day. 

I like Digby's shameless self promoting reference to herself as "what rugby sez.." It reminds me of the photo of myself I used on my Twitter page.

Here are a few choice examples of the snarky wordsmithing which has made her one of my two favorite columnists. It is from her recent column about Trump's MAGA judge not being able to save hIm:

  • It will be interesting to see if Trump's lawyers make the case that he magically declassified all those documents with a Vulcan mind-meld when he was still president as his minions have been saying all over television ever since the search.
  • Trump himself has not intelligibly addressed this latest state of affairs but he has been emitting periodic primal screams as events unfold.
  • They would be safer in Central Park because Donald Trump doesn't live there, an easy target of all of America's adversaries who know he has all the common sense of a bath mat.

My runner up  for favorite columnist is Rick Wilson. 

Wilson is a Lincoln Project co-founder who is sometimes on MSNBC.  I wrote about him in a Daily Kos essay here. He's not as funny as Dana and Digby but he does have a scalpel sharp wit but  sometimes it is a bit too cruel for my sensibility.

Here's his Twitter page:

Here's my most recent tweet which reeks of a probably futile attempt at self-promotion. Perhaps Dana, Digby, or Rick will retweet it...

Do you have a favorite columnist? Do you read Dana and Digby? Scroll down the page to make a comment.

September 8, 2022

After 1700+ posts Daily Kos bans me for life

Saying goodby to Daily Kos where I've been banned from posting stories for life.

Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to read and make comments.

There's a big difference between advocating for violence, which should be verboten on progressive websites where readers can post, and writing about violence and your attitude about self-defense if your community is threatened by armed insurrectionists.

I've been posting on the progressive website Daily Kos (read Wikipedia page about it) for several years. I've put on more than 1700 stories. Any member of their community, i.e., those who have registered there, can post a story. Quite a few of mine had the distinction of being on the Recommended List, and in the past year this was changed to a Trending Stories list of 18 reader posted stories.

Of the last five I posted three made this list including the one I put on a few days ago. That's the one that got me banned.

If you tried to read the Daily Kos story illustrated as shown below a few hours after I posted it you'd have gotten an access denied or other similar message because it had been taken offline. There was with no explanation as to why this was done sent to me.

It turns out that I have been banned, suspended, cancelled, rendered kaput, and unceremoniously dumped there. I supposed whoever made this decision would say I burned my bridges if I ever had more than one, or my solitary bridge to the world of Kos, but from my point of view they burned the bridge for me. 

I was one of the very few community members who ever posted an original opinion, idea, perspective, or thought however lame some of them may have been. I'd say that my absence is their loss. I was also the only experienced psychotherapist to regularly post essays about the psychopathology of Donald Trump.

This ban not only means that I cannot post my own stories on Daily Kos where on a few occasions as many as 2,000 readers looked at them, but I can't comment on any of the other stories there. I can still read them and see the comments other people post.

Nobody can see the story that prompted this. I tried to recreate elements of it here but unfortunately didn't copy it so I am unable to post the original.

You can help share my story by emailing the link to this blog to your friends or putting it on social media. I put if on twitter myself here.

If anyone happens to be able to post on Daily Kos wants to risk being banned themselves they can post a story along the lines of "What the hell happened to Hal Brown" and post a link to this blog page.

Here's the full photo of me as a reserve police officer, which I was for 20 years, both in Michigan and Massachusetts.
The  reason I used the police photos of me, a much younger version, was to explain my own experience with law enforcement and firearms. While never in the military I was trained to use a them as a reserve police officer. I had occasion to draw my revolver (we all used them before police departments switched to semi-automatic pistols) a few times when on foot patrol we entered dark store when we found open doors. I also drew my weapon once while in the woods look for an escaped country jail prisoner and stood by the road with a shotgun when we backed up sheriff's deputies who had stopped a carload of men on the expressway. 

Here's the screen I got when I tried to look at the story:

Here's a screen grab of my profile on Daily Kos (click any image to enlarge):

Even though you can't read the story shown above you can still read any of my other stories here. I have been banned but I haven't been erased.
I am quite sure someone flagged my final story because they thought I was advocating violence which I assuredly wasn't. I expect I was banned permanently because if you are suspended temporarily you are sent a message explaining why and for how long. I'd been suspended before, each time for a week. On those occasions the stories that got me banned stayed online. Most recently it was for the last sentence in this recent story about Judge Cannon. Several years ago it was for a 2018 story about homosociality which was banned because someone erroneously thought it was homophobic: The Term "Homosocial" Describes Autocrat Admiring Misogynist-in-Chief Trump to a "T"
I don't think whoever read it grasped the nuance of my story when I was banned for posting it - Daily Kos is not big on nuance. Not only is my story offline but unfortunately I didn't copy it to post on my blog, something I generally do. Therefore nobody can look at what I wrote to judge for themselves whether in any way, shaped or form I was advocating violence.

I told the personal story of how the other day I was sitting on my girlfriend's fourth floor balcony which overlook a row of duplexes in our continuing care retirement community where we live. I live in one of the duplexes. We were talking about the potential for violence here in Portland what with the fact that groups like The Oath Keepers and Proud Boys being attracted to our liberal community where in the past they engaged in violent clashes sometimes with Antifa members.  

Now of course they have escalated their threats to warn of armed violence should Trump be indicted and there are articles about what could happen if Trump is reelected as far as what is often called a new civil war.

I wrote about how her balcony offered a good spot for a snippers nest where if it came to it I could get dirt from our resident gardens and fill sandbags and buy a deer rifle at the nearby gun store. I wrote that if the leader of an armed group threatened our little mostly liberal community of elderly folks, taking out the leader as he marched down the street could make the others turn tail and run.

I suppose one could say that is advocating violence. I contend it is using violence as self-defense.
As I think of why someone at Daily Kos banned me with telling me why all I can come up with is that a reader flagged my story as break the rule against advocating violence and an administrator gave the story a cursory reading and decided to ban me without telling me they were doing so, and to remove the story entirely, judging that I was advocating violence.

It should be a no-brainer that I was writing about self-defense, albeit from a rather dramatized and I wouldn't argue if someone might say it conveyed a macho viewpoint although friends would tell you I come across as anything but macho.

Before it was taken offline it moved to about No. 12 of 18 stories on the Trending List, thus showing that lots of readers were interested in it. 

The are numerous stories posted on Kos and very few make this trending list. Three of my last five including this made the list. The story before it got removed had something like 50 recommendations, and over 80 comments with few exceptions agreeing with what I wrote. 

About 450 people took the poll (which indicates about how many people read it) with about 90% saying that if it came to defending democracy against an armed insurrection they personally would seriously consider fighting back with their own firearms.
These numbers are very high considering it had only been online for several hours.
I doubt I will ever be able to post political opinions on Daily Kos but will continue to post them on my blog. I hope those of you who liked what I wrote on Daily Kos will read what I post on my blog.
I am not up to trying to recreate the story at this time. Instead, below are the images I used and which are related to the story which related my thinking of an imaginary situation where the retirement community where I live was attacked by armed insurrectionists and I was on a balcony where I could use a sniper rifle to slow them down or make them turn tail and run. It was pure fantasy and by no means was I advocating violence.

I referenced how Portland became a magnet for groups like Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and that I lived in the closest retirement community to the end of one of the light rail stations from downtown Portland. 

Each of the following photos fit into the narrative of my story. The gun shop website is for a store a few blocks from where I live.

Link to above Salon article.
Above is website screen grab for gun store, one of two which are less than a mile from where I live.

Photo I took of a car in front of me.

Link to above story/

Another Trump vehicle in front of me.
Below are photos I took of the cars in front of the Trump flag man's house.

If anyone has their own website and wants to republish anything I posted on Daily Kos let me know and I am sure in most instances I will give you permission to do so. 

Most recent blog readership by country.

September 6, 2022

Lacky Cannon with no shame gave Labor Day Christmas present to Trump


I doubt it was an accident that  Judge Aileen Cannon released her opinion on Labor Day. I think she expected that by doing this it would get the least news coverage from the major media. I turned on MSNBC last night when Rachel Maddow would usually have her show repeated at 9:00 PM on the west coast to see what her legal experts were saying. I especially wanted to hear what University of Michigan Law School professor Barbara McQuade had to say since this is where Cannon got her law degree.  U of M Law, as it is referred to in the state, is rated the 10th best law school in the country. Instead MSNBC was airing a long special about the Game Stop stock market investing which made some people millions. 


This attempt to give a gift to Trump backfires she will have succeeded in currying favor with him and his cult which to the extent they can return the gift in the future could benefit her career.

This happened to be a vacation day for some television shows but I suspect that Department of Justice lawyers were called in to work as soon as the decision was conveyed to the DOJ. 

While Twitter and progressive websites covered this with opinions like the following I expect that most Americans were occupied enjoying having a good time enjoying the traditional last day of summer and not paying attention to the news.


Those of us who were following this yesterday read comments or heard from law professors  who among other things said that their first year students would be expected to write far better opinions.

I have no way of knowing whether any of this opinion reporting got through to Judge Cannon or if it did whether she cared.

Trying to put myself in her place I know how I’d feel as a retired psychotherapist if something I wrote about the psychology of Trump on Daily Kos was ripped apart by even one psychology professor, let alone by at least a dozen, in a comment either here or on the Duty to Warn private Facebook group started by Dr. John Gartner that I am a member of, I would be hanging my head in shame. 

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