April 29, 2023

This weekend the Satanists troll the Christians Bigly in Boston

 

By Hal Brown

Click image above to enlarge. Note Lucifer is devouring a child.

Satanic Temple
You may have missed the news about their planned 10th anniversary celebration in Boston this weekend and that several Christian groups are going to “ambush” the event.

Click above to go to webpage

From the Wikipedia entry.

The Satanic Temple has seven fundamental tenets:

  1. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
  2. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. One's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone.
  4. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own.
  5. Beliefs should conform to one's best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one's beliefs.
  6. People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one's best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
  7. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

Newsweek reports the following:

Click above to read article

Excerpt:

The Satanic Temple's 10-year anniversary celebration in Boston, Massachusetts, this weekend is facing counter-events from several Christian groups, including revivalist demonstrations designed to "ambush" the group's SatanCon convention.

The temple, unlike the Church of Satan, does not worship the biblical Satan as a deity, but instead has historically used its religious association to "reject tyrannical authority," according to the organization's website. Friday kicked off the group's second annual SatanCon at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, roughly 25 miles south of the organization's symbolic home in Salem, Massachusetts.

The group's organizers have dubbed the three-day event as the "largest Satanic gathering in history," and the convention will include presentations, rituals and a "Satanic Marketplace."

Raw Story covered this (here). Many of those who commented (300 as I write this) included images. Below is a sample:


What grabbed my attention as I looked at the website of The Satanic Temple (or TST as they sometimes call themselves) is that while they say they don't profess belief in an entity called Satan they use images of him on their website and at their conventions. 

Satan is used as a metaphor and symbol: 

  • No, nor do we believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural. The Satanic Temple believes that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition. As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions. Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things. Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse.

    • Satan is a symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority, forever defending personal sovereignty even in the face of insurmountable odds. Satan is an icon for the unbowed will of the unsilenced inquirer – the heretic who questions sacred laws and rejects all tyrannical impositions. Our metaphoric representation is the literary Satan best exemplified by Milton and the Romantic Satanists from Blake to Shelley to Anatole France. From the website FAQ .

    • If you read the various positions of TST and compare them to those of The Freedom From Religion Foundation you will find they overlap. This is the foundation promoted in TV ads by President Reagan's son Ron:

Herein lies the difference between the two groups: The Satanic Temple  without paying for advertising gets attention from the media for free by being attached to the Devil who they say they don't believe in.

I'm about as far from being a religious scholar as one could be. In fact, growing up as a Jew I never even went to Hebrew school or got bar mitzvahed. Despite my ignorance about Biblical texts it seems to be a no-brainer to draw the conclusion that if someone believes in Satan they also have to believe in God. (See "Do Jews believe in Satan?) I'd suggest that claiming to be a godless Satanist is an oxymoron.

The Satanic Temple using the mantle of religion is nothing short of brilliant marketing. They even have a way one can become a minister so they can officiate at weddings which is much more involved than just becoming a Universalist Life Church minister with a few clicks. 

The Satanists may be as successful in getting media coverage as some of the non-religious organizations and religious groups who promote progressive positions.

They do so by trolling the Christians. Their trolling actually has a troll of sorts, in fact their troll is far more terrifying than trolls who are kind of cute, he is the ultimate horror, the Devil himself.
Troll from Wiki Commons, Devil from Facebook

If the members of TST really believed in the Devil incarnate they'd be just a version of the QAnon believers who are certifiably insane, albeit they'd be crazy people that have beliefs consistent with democracy, equal justice for all, and tolerance of all people. 

My impression (as someone who was a psychotherapist for 40 years) is that most members of TST who are active in the temple/organization are no different in their mental health status than, for example, people who go to ComicCon or Trekkies who go to Star Trek conventions. 

You can rest assured there isn't a MAGA cultist member of The Satanic Temple.


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April 28, 2023

I looked at Mr. Pillow's FrankSpeech YouTube "network" so you don't have to.

Hal Brown's Daily Blog: I looked at Mr. Pillow's FrankSpeech YouTube "network" so you don't have to.

Mike Lindell, bizarre as he is, is so ludicrous that he wouldn't be able to get a job in an old fashioned traveling carnival freak show unless he really could blow pillow stuffing out of his ears and mouth.
A freak show in Rutland, Vermont in 1941, public domain

I made the top of the page illustration for this May 22, 2022 story which I posted on Daily Kos: 

Mr. Pillow tried to worm his way back onto Twitter but was banned again so I couldn't tweet him this

Unfortunately anything about Mike Lindell is clickbait for me because I find him so weird and Trump's relationship with a nudnik blowhard who made his money selling pillows and gained fame by starring in his own TV ads and who begs to be the butt of jokes to be inexplicable.

That's why I read this article in Raw Story:


There nothing particularly newsworthy in the article but one comment Lindell made interested me enough to ask the duck (DuckDuckGo). Click below to enlarge image.


This is his reference to something I'd never heard of before:

"Chris, Chris, Chris. I've subpoenaed Fox. I have subpoenaed Fox for ev – they've never asked me for the evidence. We posted on FrankSpeech. Anyone can go and look at it. They've – Fox News has never subpoenaed me for the evidence," he bellowed.
I wondered what the hell FrankSpeech was, so out of curiosity, not even thinking this might be worth a blog post, I followed up and easily found out from this Business Insider's article.

Excerpt:

When asked if Frank Social would be viewed as a competitor to Trump's Twitter-like Truth Social, he said he thought of it as an alternative to Facebook. Lindell also described YouTube and Vimeo as being "as evil as they come," which prompted him to invest in the Frank Speech platform.

While there were no reviews of Frank Speech on the Apple Store at press time, there were close to 30 reviews of the app on the Google Play store.

Some reviewers praised the app for helping to promote "free speech" and thanked Lindell for helping to "save our country," while others complained that they were unable to "share anything" and looked forward to "full app functionality."


Talk about delusions of grandeur right out of the Trump Truth Social playbook.

I just had to take a look. First, they managed to come up with a pretty good name and to snag decent URL: frank speech.com. Consider:

Definition of frank: open, honest, and direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters

I did some clicking and saw that the site is up to date and currently features this from Mike Lindell himself:

Aside from the fact that Tucker Carlson is listed second to Dan Bongino who was banned from YouTube but obviously isn't nearly as well-known as Carlson this wasn't surprising. As you can see above he's being interviewed by Brannon Howse (his claim to fame here) while he's standing in front a a staircase apparently in his home.
I don't know if you've had enough, dear readers who have made it this far with few if any of you having endured watching some of the clips that I did. I have. I just can't go on.

This guy oozes self-importance and self-aggrandizement. If there was a way to literally lie one's ass off he'd never be able to sit down. Perhaps that's why he's being interviewed while standing up.

He competes with Eric, Donald Jr. and Rudy Giuliani for being the most irritating Trumpers for me to watch.  Hmmm... come to think of it, he's the most irritating.

Addendum:

I noted that it had a modest 4,462 followers. I also could see the impressions of the most recent tweets: 90 and 65. I've had as many on lots of my own tweets.

These are the tags for the above segment. What puzzled me is why Diamond and Silk (the former is dead), who I've heard of, and others I never heard of, were there.
Click above to enlarge

Related:

Mike Lindell Makes Bats**t Claim About Fox News' Role In 2020 Election, on HUFFPOST today


Excerpt: Be warned: Following Lindell’s addled argument could prove challenging.


My Buffy the Vampire Slayer story: 
Click above to read my old Daily Kos story

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April 27, 2023

DeSantis tries out a tv and movie bully trope and it backfires big time

 

Hal Brown's Blog

This is a blog with my opinions on politics, psychology, and other subjects. My posts are sometimes serious and sometimes snarky. I'm a retired MSW clinical social worker/psychotherapist and mental health center director who was also a cranberry farmer. Scroll archives on bottom of page to see previous blog stories. There are new ones added almost every day, although if I don't have anything original to say I try not to say anything at all.

Click this and other images to enlarge

If DeSantis wants to run for president he has one rival in the GOP primary, a formidable foe, who he can only attack for being too old. This might not sit well in the state which is second only to California in the number of senior citizens.

He's also boxed in when it comes to going after Trump because he can't alienate hard-core Trump supporters by running as the younger and smarter version of the greatest president in American history. All he can say is "vote for me I'm the second best" which is hardly a good idea when the best is running against him.

DeSantis, like Trump, is a grievance obsessed person who thrives on hate and resentment so it isn't any surprise that he campaigns on what and who he's against, not what he's for. All he is saying is that he's for what he's against.

He, not Trump, demonized the group of beliefs in social justice called woke. This is a term added to the Merriam-Websters dictionary in September of 2017 though the word was used back in the 1930's. DeSantis wanted to puff out his barrel chest and plaster an anti-woke label on it to wear on his version of Trump's Superman outfit. 

I asked ChatGPT to make an image of him wearing an anti-woke Superman style costume and this is the result:

I'm sorry, but as an AI language model, I cannot create visual images. However, I can provide you with a written description of Ron DeSantis wearing an anti-woke Superman-style costume.

Ron DeSantis stands tall, clad in a bright blue and red costume reminiscent of the iconic superhero Superman. The costume is emblazoned with the phrase "Anti-Woke" in bold white letters across his chest. The suit is form-fitting and muscular, accentuating DeSantis' physique.

The blue material of the costume is covered in stars, representing the American flag, and the red cape flowing behind him in the breeze. DeSantis wears a pair of blue tights and red boots that reach up to his knees. His face is stern and focused, with a determined expression.

As he stands with his fists on his hips, a symbol of strength and confidence, the people around him look on in awe. With his Anti-Woke Superman-style costume, DeSantis is ready to fight against the forces of political correctness and cultural Marxism that threaten the values of the American people.

Trump and other Republicans pay lip service to being anti-woke but aren't obsessed with ranting about it.

You've seen the television shows and movies about fighting bullies. There are two versions. In the first, a kid moves and has to start gong to a new school where right off he's picked on by a bully. His father or someone else explains that the way to handle this is to take out the bully in no uncertain terms.

From Ranker: Wherever there's a young outsider or a bumbling protagonist, there's a bully. Bullies help our downtrodden teen/pre-teen become a hero; help them make the speech or the punch that inspires the slow clap from their peers, and forces them to learn to kick standing on one leg like a crane. There are a lot of memorable movies and TV shows that feature some of the most memorable bullies in pop culture. Those who have seen any of the Back to the Future movies can attest that anyone from the Tannen family, Biff, Griff or Buford "Mad Dog," are great examples of memorable bullies. 

Bullies can come in any size or form. Wayne Arnold from The Wonder Years and Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver are two very different, yet menacing bullies who at one point were considered the biggest bullies on TV.

  See Ranker for who are the favorite bullies on TV and in the movies.

The other example involves the tired old story about someone being sent to prison for the first time. You know how that one goes. He or she figures out who the biggest and baddest bully is and they take them out quick and dirty.

Now we have the malignantly narcissistic Ron DeSantis who rather that trying to take out a bully - bear with me the metaphor isn't perfect - he goes after the largest and most powerful corporation in Florida. 

His first mistake was trying to make them evil incarnate because he wants them to represent a lifestyle he supposedly - who knows what he really believes - thinks is dangerous to the sweet children of Florida. He wants Floridians to think Disney endorses a perverted lifestyle which will turn the children of Florida into wicked heathen members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Of course Disney isn't a bully, but Disney is big, and beloved by the woke community, so they have a bullseye on them as far as DeDSantis is concerned.

What better way to prove his mettle than kick them in the cojones?

This just backfired big time. Here's my version of yesterday's lead story illustration from HUFFPOST which explains what I mean:

Click above to enlarge

As my top illustration shows, guess who got kicked in the cojones by the most famous and adored mouse in the entire world.

 Move over Mighty Mouse...
Wikipedia Commons
... there's a new superhero in town.


----------Addendum----------

I made the illustrations and wrote most of this last night. This morning when I made my coffee and turned on MSNBC as I always do to watch "Morning Joe" as I work on my blog the discussion was about the DeSantis war against Disney.

Joe Scarbough said Mickey Mouse has brass knuckles and made DeSantis look like a fool — again which I would put as that Mickey has been doing well well with his white gloved fist and might answer "I need brass knuckles, thank you very much."

Click above and below to enlarge

Updates:

You have to scroll down the liberal Raw Story website passing at least 15 stories about Donald Trump to get to the first one about Ron DeSantis:
Excerpt:
"Look, I mean, this is really emblematic of the way Ron DeSantis appears to have decided to run for president," said (political analyst Ron) Brownstein. "You know, the video, God made me a fighter, he'll fight every fight that Donald Trump does but he will not bring all of the baggage that he has. I am Trumpism without Trump. And that is his pitch to Republican voters. There is an audience for it in the Republican Party. But you have to ask yourself, is he kind of losing sight of the bigger picture here?"
My speech bubble added. Click above to read article.

CLICK ABOVE TO READ

Excerpt:

“Maybe the governor knows better than to get between voters and their beer,” said another top Republican, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. “Or perhaps he’s realizing that these retaliatory and vindictive acts by a supposedly free market Republican government isn’t making Florida look very free. Pro-business Republicans and members of the legislature are already grumbling privately.”


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April 26, 2023

If for some reason Joe Biden isn't the 2024 candidate who would be the Democrat's Thomas Kirkman?

 

Hal Brown's Blog

This is a blog with my opinions on politics, psychology, and other subjects. My posts are sometimes serious and sometimes snarky. I'm a retired MSW clinical social worker/psychotherapist and mental health center director who was also a cranberry farmer. Scroll archives on bottom of page to see previous blog stories. There are new ones added almost every day, although if I don't have anything original to say I try not to say anything at all.


There is every indication that Joe Biden is what is referred to as a superager or super-ager:

A superager, also known as a super-ager, is a person who is at least eighty years of age and retains the memory skills and capacity of someone at least thirty years younger. This population falls well outside the "normal"  memory skill range for people their age. (Reference)

Full-discosure: I will be 80 next year. Do I have the cognitive capacity to be president? You can be the judge of that.

He is likely to live and remain capable of governing at a high level through a second term. Consider Harry Belafonte now being memorialized because he died at 96. In 2020, which would have made him 93 years old, "he spoke with pride about the racial protests that spread across the US in the summer of 2020 after the death of George Floyd, writing that “we have never had so many White allies, wailing to stand together for freedom, for honor, for a justice that free us all in the end…” Reference.

How could I not click to read this on The Washington Post website (subscription):


I am rewatching "Designated Survivor" (read review) and this makes me wonder who would be a Thomas Kirkman? He becomes president when terrorists kill everyone attending the State of the Union addresss. He proves to be an excellent president. Although an independent in the TV show his views are most closely aligned with the Democrats. He's among the highest ranked TV presidents almost tied for number one with Josiah Bartlet from "The West Wing" on Ranker. Kirkman was a Cabinet member as HUD secretary, Pete Buttigieg is transportation secretary. Just a thought....

Below, in order of least likely to most likely:

10. Phil Murphy/J.B. Pritzker: governors of Illinois and New Jersey

9. Raphael G. Warnock: Georgia senator

8. Bernie Sanders: Vermont senator 

7. Amy Klobuchar: Minnesota senator

6. Josh Shapiro: Pennsylvania governor

5. Gavin Newsom: California governor

4. Gretchen Whitmer: Michigan governor (as I write this she's on Morning Joe (image here)

3. Jared Polis: The Colorado governor

1. Pete Buttigieg: transportation secretary

On the worth mentioning list (here) I think New Jersey senator Cory Booker, now on Morning Joe (image) belongs near the top list which even though the title says top 10 the list has 11 possibilities. 

As I think of what the winning ticket would be sans Joe Biden I lean towards Harris/Buttigieg. The more I see Kamala Harris, most recently at abortion rights rallies like this...

... the more I think she has the political chops to win the presidency.

She has been in the limelight ever since the Supreme Court ruled on abortion in the Dobbs case and even more so since the abortion pill brouhaha. This has worked to significantly up her national exposure and profile, far more than her handling the typical tasks assigned to a vice president like representing the United States at overseas meetings or going to sites of disasters or shaking hands foreign dignitaries like she did this morning prior to the president of South Korea meeting with President Biden:


It has also given her experience speaking forcefully to a large television audience. It makes sense to compare her to Hillary Clinton in this respect. There are many factors pundits have elaborated on to explain her loss  but it's impossible to determine whether factoring in all of them she would had won if she'd been a man. How many people didn't vote for her because of misogyny or because they didn't like how she came across? These aren't the kinds of questions people tend to answer honestly when a pollster asks them. Some, like this author, and like this author, say she did. Others, like this author, say this had nothing to do with her loss.

We can thank the anti-abortion forces for giving Harris a far bigger platform than just being a representative of the United States when the president doesn't do this.

It helps that support for abortion with one or another limitation is at a record high. Not only among Democrats, but  a third of Republicans also qualify themselves as mostly supporting abortion rights

Of course there isn't a male chauvinist bigot in the country who will vote for her... thankfully there aren't enough of them to swing a national election.

Were Buttigieg not a happily married gay father he might have something of an edge over Harris except that as heir apparent it would be awkward and poor optics to have her run for the position she already has. Joe Biden selected her to run with him for various reasons but one of them was that he thought she would be qualified to be president if something untoward happened to him.

As for Buttigieg, "No mayor has ever ascended directly to the American presidency, and only three presidents – Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, and Calvin Coolidge – served as mayors before eventually taking the White House." (Reference)

John Lindsay is probably the best known mayor to run a credible campaign for president and he was the mayor of New York City. Buttigieg was the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Like Harris, Buttigieg got  unexpected national publicity. This happened after the East Palestine train wreck. 

Click above to read article 

Of course there's the matter of him being gay.

If it was up to residents of Portland, Oregon, where I live in the suburbs, the majority of people wouldn't give a tinker's damn about his sexual orientation. After all, these are two of the stories on local TV today:

Article one and two

Despite the ginned up focus on being anti-anything remotely LGBTQ+ which Ron DeSantis has made a major plank in his ludicrous anti-woke bridge to nowhere - I mean taking on Disney...


... the majority of straight Americans are totally accepting of members of the LGBTQ+ community and no doubt many of them have family members, friends, or acquaintances who fit into one of the categories in this list of letters.

For winning elections anywhere but in the most red of red places being a woke warrior is worthless. 

The same goes for someone running as a woman of color.

------------------

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Trumps "Truth" posts add up to the only psychological test you need to diagnose Donald Trump as a dangerous maniac. All the leaders of our allies need to do to be terrifed that he'll be the next president is to read them, by Hal Brown, MSW

In 2017 Dr. John Gartner, the founder of Duty to Warn, wrote  All I Ever Wanted to Know about Donald Trump I Learned From His Tweets: A Psyc...